Energy Pops !

Exercising in hot, humid weather can cause significant dehydration in as quickly as 30 minutes, according to the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, and that can lead to lackluster performance and results – and who wants that?

by Tiffani Bachus, RD | photography EDWARD POND

Luckily, science sides with your sweet tooth: a 2011 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that a slushy consumed before running enabled runners to go longer in hot and humid conditions. Keep in mind that resistance training calls for a bit more protein than endurance training, so instead of a sugary slushy, we’ve come up with a grown-up version of another childhood summer favorite: ice pops – Oxygen-style. Here’s what you’ll need:

A preworkout snack requires a mix of quick-digesting carbohydrates and protein. The carbs from fruit act to give you readily available fuel, as well as top off your glycogen tank for energy that’s needed towards the end of your workout. Fruit is also loaded with antioxidants that help with recovery by quelling post-training inflammation. Ideally, try to pick seasonal fruit to get flavor at its peak; choose vibrantly colored fruit (red, blue and purple ones are especially high in free radical–fighting antioxidants); and go organic when you can, as some fruits, such as peaches and other soft-skin fruits, are more heavily sprayed with potentially harmful pesticides. Next up: a familiar ingredient.

Regular gym goers may be used to going for protein (in the form of a shake or bar) after a workout,but consuminga small amount of protein before your workout can be just as important. Once protein is digested, it’s broken down into amino acids, which will be used immediately after your workout to repair and rebuild damaged muscle tissue. In addition, the protein helps balance out the rise in blood sugar caused by the carbs, giving you more energy for a longer period of time. Now for the final nutrient.


You don’t need a lot of fats prior to exercise. Preworkout snacks should be made up of mostly carbs as well as some protein, but a small hit of an anti-inflammatory fat from a plant source (think avocado, not cheese) can boost recovery. The main thing to remember is not to go overboard with healthy fats around exercise time, as all fats can slow the digestion of food,
which may leave you feeling sluggish at the gym. Stick to small amounts, such as an eighth of an avocado or a tablespoon of chia seeds or almonds. That’s it!

Mango Orange Chia ICE POPS!
Ready when frozen Prep time: 5 minutes Makes 4 servings

1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup nonfat kefir
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. BLEND orange juice and kefir until smooth. Stir in the chia seeds.
2. BLEND mango chunks on low speed to achieve a chunky consistency.
3. POUR into ice pop mold and set in freezer until solid, about 4 hours.

FACT: Orange juice is a great choice before working out in the sun , as it provides fluid for hydration and potassium , an electro lyte that ’s lost as you sweat .