Pregnancy Nutrition Tips for Female Athletes

2. Fuel During the Workout

As long as you eat enough pre-training and recovery fuel, you don't need extra food for a workout of 30 minutes or less.

If the workout is longer, add 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates per hour and 18 to 24 ounces of fluids per hour. If it's hot or humid, remember to hydrate throughout your workout no matter the duration.

More: How to Exercise During Pregnancy

3. Recovery Food

Eat a recovery snack after every training session. Pregnancy is not the time to skimp on training fuel. Your pregnancy nutrition goal is to replenish every calorie burned. Remember, you're exercising for cardiovascular fitness and well being, not fat loss.

In recovery, consume 50 calories per 10 minutes of any low-intensity workout, and 100 calories per 10 minutes of any moderate intensity workout. These calories should include both carbohydrates and high-protein foods.

4. Daily Hydration

Hydrating throughout the day is especially important for the pregnant athlete because your body is making amniotic fluid for the baby. Have a minimum of 80 ounces fluid per day, plus 18 to 24 ounces of fluid per hour of exercise.

More: Cycling During Pregnancy: Yes or No?

5. Plenty of Protein

Protein is always crucial to an athlete. It's especially important in pregnancy nutrition. During your pregnancy, aim for 80 grams of protein per day, in addition to the recovery protein you need after each work out. This means every meal should have 20 grams, and each of your two to three daily snacks should have a minimum of 10 grams.

Exercising during pregnancy is a wonderful opportunity for female athletes to feel strong and fit, but the risks must be taken seriously.

If you want to continue to exercise through your pregnancy, you must take responsibility for knowing what your body needs, and giving it all the nutrients and fuel required. When you do that, you'll find the happy medium between feeling strong and maintaining proper pregnancy nutrition.

More: 4 Pregnancy Health and Nutrition Myths

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About the Author

Kelli Jennings

Kelli Jennings, RD and sports nutritionist, is the owner of Apex Nutrition, LLC. Kelli helps athletes reach their weight goals and build strength, endurance and stamina. She teaches clients to eat for reduced inflammation, the best recovery and ongoing fueling needs as they push themselves to new levels. Like Kelli on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Kelli Jennings, RD and sports nutritionist, is the owner of Apex Nutrition, LLC. Kelli helps athletes reach their weight goals and build strength, endurance and stamina. She teaches clients to eat for reduced inflammation, the best recovery and ongoing fueling needs as they push themselves to new levels. Like Kelli on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

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