“Cookies?” Annie frowned at the box on the kitchen counter.

“As you know, carbohydrates are our body’s source of fuel.  We have no energy if we don’t eat carbs,” laughed LJ as he bit into a chocolate chip cookie.

Annie gave him the side-eye, “I agree, but that cookie is not a healthy source of carbohydrates, especially since you’re getting ready to exercise. Not eating correctly before your workout means you won’t have enough energy to maximize your effort, and you won’t burn as many calories.

Ideally, two hours before exercising, you should eat healthy carbs like oatmeal or other whole-grain cereals.  Whole wheat sourdough toast (toasting breaks down some carbohydrates) is good, or a smoothie made of fat-free yogurt and banana with chia seeds. Also, an egg and mushroom omelet.  The key is to eat easy-to-digest carbs and avoid saturated fats and a lot of protein because it will make you feel sluggish. And don’t forget water to stay hydrated.”

LJ started stretching his legs, “I’m meeting the guys in 20 minutes for a run; that’s why I’m eating this cookie for a quick energy boost.”

“The only thing that cookie will do is give you a sugar high followed by a crash. Instead, try apple sauce, which is easy to digest, and its natural sugar gives you steady energy over a prolonged time. The amount of vitamin C in it also helps with recovery after exercise. Or how about a handful of one-part nuts and two-part raisins? They are another healthy snack whose nutritional support you would experience even if you consumed them right before exercising. For sure, you will have a more enjoyable workout and burn more calories.”

LJ wiped the crumbs off his shirt, “I won’t eat a cookie again before working out, but I am going to have a cold one with the guys after. Did you know the compounds found in non-alcoholic beer are beneficial, help with recovery, and prevent illness after running? Us runners experience internal inflammation due to the increased stress running places on our bodies. The immune system is temporarily suppressed when this happens, leaving it open to opportunistic viruses and other illnesses. After a run, scientists found drinking beer led to a less pronounced immune response and fewer infections and illnesses. We’re sticking to non-alcoholic beer because we don’t want to get drunk after running.”

“I did not know,” said Annie. “So be it, let’s just not make the mistake of thinking the carbs in beer are a great source of nutrition.”

“And now I know neither are cookies,” said LJ as he kissed her goodbye.

Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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