Food for active pregnant women

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Food for active pregnant women
Food for active pregnant women

Here are some tips to help pregnant women make the best food choices for performance and energy during exercise.


Pregnancy is a great opportunity to review your lifestyle habits and make physical activity part of your daily schedule. Choosing the right foods before, during and after physical activity will prevent you from feeling hungry during physical activity, feeling bloated, dehydrated, low on energy, feeling nauseous and lowering your risk gastric reflux.

Before exercise

What you choose before training will depend on several factors: the duration of your activity, the time between your meal or snack and your activity, the temperature, the intensity and duration of your activity, your ability digestion, foods you crave or dislike, and your susceptibility to low blood sugar.

Foods containing carbohydrates are estimated to be digested by the stomach in less than an hour, proteins take two to four hours, and fats take four to six hours. The closer your meal or snack is to your physical activity, the more your meal shouldbe light, i.e. low in fat and protein, but high in carbohydrates.

Example of suggested foods before training

Less than 30 minutes before

• Fruit juice + crackers

• Fruit and almond compote

• Dried fruits and pumpkin seeds

• Dried fruit bar

• Fig Cookies

• ½ bagel and jam

• Homemade Carrot Muffin

From 30 minutes to 2 hours before

• Fruit Smoothie

• Chocolate milk and oatmeal cookie

• Cereal Bowl

• Wheat, cheese and raisin crackers

• Fruit compote and cereal bar

• Greek yogurt, blueberries and almonds

• Toast with peanut butter and ½ banana

• Vegetable juice, crackers and cheese

2 hours or more before

• Fruit juice, nut butter toast (according to

your tolerance) and yogurt

• Scrambled egg, toast and fresh fruit

• Tortilla with tuna, raw vegetables, fruit and yogurt

• Chicken pasta salad, vegetable juice

and rice pudding

• Vegetable soup, turkey sandwich and

fresh fruit

• Pasta with meat sauce and green salad

If you have hypoglycemia or pregnancy diabetes, choose from the second column instead.

Although it is recommended to eat foods that aresource of complex carbohydrates before exercise, if you have little time, your activity is not too long or you can have a drink or a snack during exercise, you can take one that contains simple sugars, such as fruit.

During the effort

During physical activity, food should promote the exchange of nutrients with the baby and help prevent dehydration, stay focused, maintain a good level of energy and recover more quickly. Athletes should consume 0.7 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of weight per hour of effort (about 30 to 60 g/h), either in liquid or solid form. It is also recommended to drink about 10 milliliters of fluid per kilogram of body weight per hour. Trust your feelings and thirst first, but remember that exercise and especially nausea can mask these signals. Be on the lookout and therefore always have liquids at hand.


After the effort

Too many athletes underestimate the importance of post-workout nutrition, which is crucial for rehydrating and replenishing your energy reserves. Recovery is orchestrated in two stages and of course depends on the type of effort provided, the intensity, the loss of water suffered and the other activities that follow the physical activity.

To recover effectively, first remember to rehydrate. Too often neglected, the hydration nevertheless allowstransport nutrients to the muscles and evacuate waste; it's essential! Then, remember to absorb carbohydrates to replenish your energy reserves: fruit juice, fruit, dried fruit, cookies, granola bars, bread, cereals, yogurt, chocolate milk, etc. Then, combine the carbohydrates with the proteins needed to repair muscle fibers, for the perfect mix. Studies show that about 10g of protein is enough to start the recovery process and that the repair of muscle fibers and the regeneration of energy stores (muscle glycogen levels) should ideally take place at the same time.

So it's not about having just a glass of juice, a cereal bar or a banana after a vigorous effort, you have to add some nuts, a piece of cheese or have a glass of chocolate milk to maximize recovery. The ideal time to snack and ensure effective recovery is within 15 to 30 minutes after the end of the workout.

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