(KERO) — June is National Great Outdoors Month and whether you choose to spend it hiking some trails or playing your favorite sport outside, one thing you want to make sure of is that you have enough energy.
Heading out for some adventure? Think of your body as a car -- if you run out of gas, it's game over.
Doctor Gayle Myers, an integrative holistic doctor, shares a helpful formula to calculate what you should eat to fuel up before you get outside. Starting with - what's the activity?
"You start to feel shaky and weak where you just don't have enough energy. You start to feel more fatigued. So then you know that you're running out of fuel," says Myers. "When you set out for an activity, you wanna think about how long you're gonna be out there and what intensity you're gonna be doing."
Low intensity would be where you don't get your heart rate up, break a sweat or get out of breath.
"A casual walk, a leisurely bike ride, yoga."
Or high intensity where your heart's pumping and you can't speak without taking a breath.
"A vigorous hike, tennis, running."
Next: what should you eat?
"Food creates caloric energy and energy to run our metabolic processes."
Calculate your intensity level plus the duration of what you will be doing to figure out the best fuel for your body.
"Different kinds of foods have a different thermic effect. There's high, middle, and low."
Protein has the highest thermic effect which means your body burns through it slower.
"And it sustains your energy longer."
The middle is carbohydrates and healthy fats are the lowest.
"And we burn through those very fast."
The longer and more intense the activity, the more protein you'll need to add to the mix of carbs and fats.
"So you wanna eat at least an hour, maybe even an hour and a half before you go out."
Finally - figure out if you are a fast or slow metabolizer.
"If you're a fast metabolizer, you're usually genetically born with it."
Fast metabolizers are lean, have a hard time gaining weight, and can eat a lot of food and burn through it quickly. Slow metabolizers are the opposite.
"However, if you're a slow metabolizer and you do more activity and increase your muscle mass. You'll begin to burn calories at rest."
Fast metabolizers will need to eat more, especially protein and complex carbs, for longer, high-intensity activity.
"A slow metabolizer would probably wanna have more vegetables than grains with the protein and the fats."
Enjoy the outdoors with the right formula