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I teach a group exercise class an hour everyday, but there are times that it could be more than once… There are times I feel dizziness or light-headedness; it’s either during or after workout. My questions are: Is this normal? What shake or smoothies you can recommend since solid foods make it hard for me,  heavy in my stomach, to work out after eating them? Thanks! – Ann


1) Exertion headaches are common in less than 5% of the population and occur during intense physical activity. Usually they go away within the hour of recovery. Consult your physician if yours are prolonged or involve altered vision, neck stiffness or vomiting.

To help prevent exertion headaches, be sure you are well hydrated and performing below all-out MAXIMUM effort.

References: Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Headache Center, American Headache Society

2) For a portable shake, you can either bring a ready to drink (RTD) that comes in a shelf-stable aseptic package or refrigerated bottle, or you can pre-measure a powdered form into a suitable bottle or shaker and add water per directions. Look for one to provide you with about 150-180 Calories, 3-5 grams Fat, 20 grams Carbohydrate and 12-15 grams Protein – amounts that are ideal for post-workout when you’ll be eating solid food an hour or so later.

Fresh fruit smoothies abound and most have concentrated sugars like syrups, sherbet or sorbet added. Be sure yours is no more than 12 fl. Oz., is made with some solid fruit, and has a protein source added (usually yogurt or whey). Ideally you’d make yours at home and perhaps keep it on ice? One of my faves’: ¾ C frozen berries, ½ C low-fat vanilla yogurt, ½ banana, ½ C fruit juice – any, 1 Scoop whey protein, 1 Tbsp. wheat germ. You can add a little ice before blending to make 16 fl. Oz.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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