TODAY   |  March 23, 2012

What to eat before exercise, bedtime

TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer talks about the best foods to eat before certain activities. The right choices not only save you time and calories, but help you get on the right track to make the most of your day.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on eat smart today, smart snacking. planning what you eat before you head to the gym or jump into the car for a long ride could save you a lot of time, a lot of calories, too. nutritional joy bauer is here.

>> hi, savannah.

>> i guess with a little planning you can save yourself some calories.

>> but also catapult yourself to the top of your game and increase performance depending on what activities you're going for.

>> our first activity is exercising. so should you eat before you exercise?

>> joy, i think this is going to surprise a lot of people. really the truth is, if you're moderately exercising, that's about an hour or less, your body doesn't need to fuel up beforehand.

>> it's my favorite excuse. better eat that pizza.

>> especially if you're exercising in order to lose weight. very counterproductive. but if you like to have something small before and you feel energized i would say go for a banana. it's totable. you can pop it in your bag in the morning. it's light. about 100 calories and loaded in potassium. potassium is something we tend to become depleted in but we sweat a lot from physical exertion. also think about a coffee or a tea. because caffeine if you have it about 30 minutes before you work out helps us to push our bodies longer and stronger during a workout.

>> drink that water, too. because doesn't the caffeine dehydrate you?

>> a little bit.

>> for the late night snackers.

>> so the best natural mild sedative is going to be tryptophan. that's an amino acid that helps to produce the brain chemical that makes us drowsy. the trick is you want to combine it with carbs. so a rice cake has carbs. and the cheese has the tryptophan.

>> okay.

>> so this is a perfect p.m. snack.

>> that just looks delicious, joy. i've got to tell you.

>> i have one of these. this has a little bit of cinnamon on it. it's really good.

>> okay.

>> or you can have part skim ricotta with strawberries and this one is just reduced fat cheddar. also consider a soothing cup of chamomile tea . relaxes you. great for slumber.

>> does make you a little bit sleepy, right?

>> yes.

>> the next activity is going to a cocktail party . i thought you're supposed to go to the cocktail party to eat and drink.

>> the tip here is to eat before you eat so that you sort of squelch hunger pains , take the edge off and you don't show up at the party and gobble down all of the delicious appetizers. so i'm showing hummus with a whole tray of vegetables. because the combination of fiber and water starts to expand in your stomach and it's going to give you more resolve to say, maybe not. not so many when you get to the party.

>> a little snack before you go.

>> right.

>> our next one we're talking about what you should do before a long car ride. to stay awake i guess.

>> right. so you're going to go for that high octane fuel. i'm showing a skim latte, because again it's about the caffeine. you want to wake up. if you don't want coffee you could also go for tea and the longer you steep your tea bag the more caffeine is going to end up in your cup. a couple of handfuls of nuts or roasted edamame because it helps to stabilize your blood sugar which is going to keep you alert and up for that long drive.

>> you've got almonds. are all nuts created equal?

>> all nuts are great. but those unsalted almonds are unbelievable. try one.

>> really?

>> mm-hmm.

>> let me see. mm-hmm.

>> i keep them in the freezer.

>> i could just drive forever.

>> really delicious.

>> all right, joy, let's get to it. what you should have before sex. the joy of sex , with joy bauer.

>> to get new the mood i am choosing soft chocolate covered strawberries first because they are luxurious and decadent and romantic. but they also have libido boosting compounds called flavonoids which help --

>> ooh, flavonoids.

>> flavonoids. okay. and they help you --

>> and drink heavily.

>> and it's going to increase blood flow to all parts of the body. of course a glass of champagne always helps.

>> let's change the subject. what to eat before a job interview . nice transition.

>> when you're looking to enhance your concentration you want to stick to protein. protein helps you sort of activate and wake up all of your brain cells . so i'm showing first a protein smoothie. i'm using nonfat free yogurt because it has more protein than traditional yogurt. i mixed it with berries and skim milk. and protein packed scrambled eggs and i threw in some smoked salmon because salmon has more protein but also the omega-3 fats.

>> they're supposed to make you short.

>> they don't help instantaneously but they help with long-term brain power . so if you score the job you'll be ready