If you’re doing more than 90 minutes of exercise on a regular basis, especially if you’re doing high intensity or endurance exercises, you will need to be aware of what you’re putting into your body to get the most out of it.
If you’re training for strength or weight-less you will need to be especially careful of your daily calorie intake and eat a diet that will help you perform at your best and help you recover quickly. Here are 5 expert tips for getting the most out of your diet.
Carbohydrates Are Your Friend
Nutritional experts have known for many years that carbohydrates are the athlete’s main source of fuel, as the body breaks carbohydrates down into glucose – a form of sugar – and stores it in your muscles as glycogen.
When you exercise and burn calories, your body takes the stored glycogen and turns it into energy, which is what allows you to keep going even if you haven’t just eaten a carb heavy meal. However, it’s important to remember that if you’re exercising for less than 90 minutes you will have enough stored glycogen, so be careful not to overindulge.
Get Enough Protein, But Not Too Much
While protein doesn’t offer much in the way of energy to an athlete, your body does need it to maintain and replenish muscle. The average person requires 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, which is approximately 90 grams of protein for a 70 kg person.
Contrary to popular belief, the best source of protein is real food so stick to lean meats, eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, or milk as opposed to protein supplements.
Take It Easy on Fats
The best type of fat is the unsaturated kind found in nuts, avocados, olives, vegetable oils, and fatty fish like salmon or tuna.
The internet has brought us many amazing things: with everything from online shopping and social media to online betting and recipes, no one can say that they don’t know how to cook healthy and delicious meals anymore.
There are plenty of ways to cook with less fat and cutting down your daily fat intake by just a few teaspoons make a huge difference. Remember – it all adds up!
Drink Fluids Early and Often
Heavy exercise, especially during hot weather, can quickly leave you dehydrated which will hurt your performance, and in the worst cases can even threaten your life. All high intensity athletes should drink fluids early and often.
In other words, don’t wait until you feel thirsty as by the time you’re parched you may already be facing dehydration. It’s important to drink fluids before, during, and after a workout because your body expels fluids during exercise through sweating.
It’s also a good idea to drink chilled fluids as they are more easily by the body absorbed as opposed to room temperature water.
Replace Lost Electrolytes
Electrolytes help to convey nerve signals throughout your body, and both fluids and electrolytes are lost when you start sweating.
As such it’s a good idea to reach for a sports drink post exercise, as these contain the right amounts of both sugar and salt which mimics natural electrolytes in the body.
If you’re losing a lot of fluids while you exercise, it’s a good idea to mix equal parts water and sports drink to maintain the correct balance of hydration to electrolytes.