4 Ways Nutrition Fuels Your Fitness

Mar 11, 2024


National Nutrition Month is here, so it's the perfect time to slow down and explore just how interconnected fitness and nutrition are. As Megan Watson, a Registered Dietitan at Loop Nutrition, puts it, “Without proper nutrition, the hard work you are putting in at the gym might not be paying off.”

Keep reading as we dive into how nutrition plays a huge role in improving strength, endurance, and overall fitness so you can start using proper nutrition to better reach and maintain your fitness goals!



First things first, you need to be fueling your workouts! Without adequate calories, your body will not perform its best. The Loop Nutrition team recommends grabbing a snack about an hour before a workout.

Pre-workout snacks should be high in carbs and moderate in protein and fat. Why?

Carbs are our primary source of fuel for physical activity. Carbs give us the quick energy you need to power through those runs and lifts without feeling drained or fatigued.

No time to grab a snack? Consuming a large, well-balanced meal 3-4 hours prior should provide enough energy to fuel your activity. (Don’t skimp on the carbs!)



But it’s not just about what you eat before a workout – recovery matters too!

Megan says “We need to replenish the energy lost during your workout, so you avoid feeling overly fatigued. The quicker you can recover with proper nutrition, the better you will feel at your next workout."

Eating nutritious meals after working out helps you replenish muscle glycogen stores, which is essential for recovery. It also provides the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for muscle repair and growth.



Now, we can't forget about rest days! Incorporating rest days gives your muscles time to heal and recover stronger, but we still need to prioritize nutrition on rest days.

Our body relies on protein from food to repair and heal muscle tissue. But that’s not all - vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from carbohydrates and fat reduce inflammation and oxidative damage that naturally comes from a hard workout. We need adequate protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats to fully recover before resuming exercise. 

Proper nutrition is the foundation of any successful fitness journey. "You can’t just hit the gym and expect to see results if you’re not fueling your body with the right stuff. That means choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods 80% of the time, making sure to incorporate all the foods you love to avoid a restrictive mentality around food."

Megan recommends creating a realistic plan: “Expecting perfection with your nutrition is not sustainable. Make a plan that works for your lifestyle and stay consistent. Consistency is key to progress in the long run. Focus on eating at least three balanced meals a day with protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats—that’s a great place to start.”



Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Water is essential for regulating body temperature, aiding in digestion, and supporting muscle function, so drink up that water like it’s going out of style. The general recommendation is to aim to drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water each day, and even more, if you’re exercising regularly. 


The bottom line?... Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand!

Nutrition is personal—no two bodies are the same. We each have unique needs depending on our lifestyle and goals. If you are serious about seeing progress, Megan recommends meeting with a Registered Dietitian who can assess your specific nutrition needs.

Take your fitness to the next level and start prioritizing your whole-body health with a complimentary consultation with a Loop Nutrition Registered Dietitian!

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