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    Best Health News

    MEA and Sharp Health Plan are very pleased to announce Best Health, our new, comprehensive wellness program for all benefited employees represented by MEA. Best Health is designed to help you achieve your personal health and wellness goals, with customizable tools and resources to guide you on your journey. Below is the most recent article about Best Health, and to the right are important resources about the Best Health program.

    How to fuel your workout

    Published most recently in: E-News on: 3/9/2018

    One of the most common questions people ask exercise experts is, “What should I eat before and after my workouts?” The answer to this question is, as you might expect, “It depends.”

    Olga Hays, an American Council on Exercise-certified wellness promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare, says, “Pre- and post-workout nutrition can be a useful training tool to boost performance and speed recovery. However, it is not necessarily a main priority for the general population of exercisers who mostly work out for aesthetic and health purposes.”

    If you exercise for general fitness and health
    Recent studies suggest that if you exercise mainly for general health and fitness and your workouts are typically under one hour, what you eat over the course of your day is more important for body composition, performance and overall well-being than nutrient timing strategies.

    “Obsessing over specific nutrients, in specific amounts, at specific times can make your workouts feel like a chore,” says Hays. “Instead, try to schedule your training sessions around your regular mealtimes and focus on the quality of your meals to maximize your workouts and reach your health goals.”

    “Life is busy and if you can’t always schedule your workouts around your mealtimes, consider adding a snack 30 to 60 minutes before your workout, especially if it’s been more than three hours since you last ate,” she says.

    For your pre-workout snack, choose a balance of carbohydrates for quick energy coupled with protein to protect muscle breakdown and reduce post-exercise soreness. Some pre-workout snack ideas are:

    • Mozzarella string cheese with a few whole-wheat crackers

    • A banana and 1 tablespoon nut butter

    • A handful of baby carrots with 2 tablespoons hummus

    • A hardboiled egg with a piece of fruit

    After your workout, and if your mealtime is still a couple of hours away, have a small snack within 30 minutes of your workout to replenish glycogen stores and repair damage done to your muscles. This snack should contain a similar mix of carbs and protein, plus a little bit of healthy fats:

    • A banana and a handful of nuts

    • 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with a sliced orange

    • Small protein shake and a few nuts

    • A hardboiled egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast

    Importance of good hydration
    Proper hydration is important for optimal performance. Although individual fluid requirements vary, it is a good idea to stay well-hydrated before, during and after exercising.

    1. Go to to check out the following Best Health offerings to help you keep your heart healthy and to learn how to earn points towards a Best Health Visa gift card:

    2. Healthy Eating Health Coaching – Work one-on-one with a Best Health Coach.

    3. Online Food Log – Use the food log to understand how many calories you are consuming.

    4. Online Nutrition Workshop – Learn more about establishing better eating habits in this six-week workshop.