Food = Fuel

by: Savannah Cloud

Have you ever heard that you are what you eat or what you put into your body is fuel? If so, did you believe it? There are many people who do not think that and wonder why they are not seeing a difference after working out. I have always been told that being in the gym and exercising is only 20%, the other 80% comes from what you are eating. While this may or may not be true, many people are unaware of how much consuming your food as fuel can make a difference.

Your body responds better to everyday life when you and consume a healthy diet. The food you eat can provide enough energy and nutrients to meet the demands that exercise and training have (Sporting Performance and Food, 2020). The body cannot rely on fatty, high sodium, high sugar foods to fuel it through workouts and that is why we can feel sluggish when not eating properly.

(“Food Fuels Your Body for Exercise!” 2018).

There are certain things that can benefit your body when it comes to food being used as fuel. Carbohydrates are essential for your body. Carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to push through exercises and can help your body recovery after working out. Protein is another very important asset for the body and performance. People who exercise often should be consuming at least 1.0 g of your body weight to get the accurate amount needed to fuel the body through workouts and post workout recovery (Sporting Performance and Food, 2020). Proteins are important because they build and restore muscle and bone.

Carbohydrates and proteins are two of the main things that can provide energy for the body and there are a variety of different foods to choose from that include them. Lean meats such as beef, lamb and pork are high in protein poultry such as, chicken, turkey, duck and goose. Fish and seafood and eggs, milk and cheese are also all high in protein (“Protein” Better Health Channel, 2020). Carbohydrates are a little different when it comes to choosing what to fuel your body with and what to avoid. Carbohydrates are in a lot of different things that are good for you such as, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, brown rice, wheat and oats.

It may seem like a lot to keep up with trying to make sure you get the proper amount of protein and carbohydrates, but by paying attention to what you put into your body, the outcome is worth it. Your body needs these things to fuel it and make you feel better in the long run and that is worth it! There are apps that can help you keep track of calories and protein and carbohydrate intake. MyFitnessPal, MyPlate Calorie Counter, and Protein Tracker are just a few options.



Advocate, Consumer. “Food Fuels Your Body for Exercise!” Commissary Connection, Commissary Connection, 21 June 2018,

“Protein.” Better Health Channel, 2020,

“Sporting Performance and Food.” Better Health Channel, 2020,


Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department