Paying attention to nutrition has special importance when you’re expecting a baby. And if you’re working out, eating (and drinking) right is a necessary complement to a sound fitness program. So keep these pointers in mind if you plan to stay active during pregnancy:
Drink plenty of caffeine-free fluids before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration. You should drink at least one full glass of water or other liquid for every half hour of exercise. Of course, you’ll need more in warmer weather or if you’re perspiring heavily to replace lost fluids.
Eat a high-carbohydrate snack within 20 minutes of exercise. During exercise, your blood sugar (glucose) levels may quickly fall to undesirable levels, especially during the third trimester. If you’re exercising away from home, it’s a good idea to take along a snack like a container of yogurt or half a sandwich and juice to prevent a drop in glucose levels.
Make sure you’re getting enough calories if you’re very active. Pregnant women need about 300 extra calories a day—and if you exercise you’ll need even more. A rule of thumb: Enjoy an extra 100 to 200 calories for every half hour of vigorous exercise. Of course, it’s best to get those extra calories from nutritious sources.