Working out is a vital part of being healthy. It helps manage your weight, decreases your risk of developing certain diseases, and strengthens your body. However, this will only happen when you have the proper eating habits to go along with it. NI Direct emphasises the importance of eating well for exercise because it ensures you get the nutrients you need to power through your workout safely and effectively.
To partake in these benefits and prevent any untoward incidents while exercising, you may thus want to eat healthier for better workouts. Here's how:
Get enough nutrients
Everyone knows that eating fruits and vegetables is a must. Yet what you might not realise is that you may not be eating enough. Our post ‘How Much Fruit & Veg Should I Be Eating?’ states that, at the minimum, your daily portions should consist of two pieces of fruit and five portions of vegetables. Recent research finds that this amount guarantees optimal health. If you’re not an avid fan of fruits and vegetables, you can try gradually increasing your daily intake. For instance, start with one fruit, three vegetable portions, and so forth. Another tip is to eat the colours of the rainbow. This encourages you to consume various plant-based foods such as peppers (red), carrots (orange), and so on. Gut microbes thrive off these foods. In turn, they balance your blood sugar levels and allow you to have a consistent amount of energy throughout an exercise routine.
Follow athletes’ advice
Part of athletes’ jobs is to keep themselves in the best shape. It thus follows that they know what diet is best for working out. Not everyone knows an athlete they can talk to. Fortunately, it’s not hard to access their advice these days. Scribd notes that there are countless sports and recreation podcasts hosted by athletes that you can listen to. One podcast you can start with is ‘Female Athlete Nutrition.' This is hosted by athlete and sports dietitian Lindsey Elizabeth Cortes, an expert in the best nutritional practises for female athletes. You can also try 'The Performance Nutrition Podcast. Here, Dr. Marc Bubbs heads interviews athletes and medical professionals regarding fuelling the body for peak exercise performance. Gaining insight from these athletes enables you to improve your diet for better workouts.
Remember to eat carbs
You may be avoiding carbs due to the popular belief that they aren't nutritious and even cause weight gain. However, this is a myth. The British Nutrition Foundation asserts that carbohydrates provide energy for physical activities. The lack of carbohydrates in your diet can impede workout performance and recovery since the brain and muscles do not have enough fuel. The body stores carbs in the muscles as glycogen, which is then converted to glucose and used as energy by your body. To reap the benefits of carbs for your workouts, opt for wholegrain and high-fibre carbohydrates like brown rice and whole-wheat bread for the best results. If you’re on a moderate activity programme (1 hour of activity daily), the recommended carbohydrate intake is 5-7g per kg of your body weight.
Listen to health experts
Health experts’ knowledge of the human body and its processes qualifies them to give pointers for healthier eating habits. You may consult a sports nutritionist or get their insight from published works. Emeritus Professor Michael Gleeson’s book ‘Nutrition for Top Performance in Football’ is one resource you can use. This walkthrough of a football athletes’ diet explains the science behind it, why it empowers them to give their best, and how it can aid their post-game recovery. There are even recipes from top chefs you can try for yourself. Such works are great for amateur athletes and people seeking to maximise their diet for improved workouts.
Practising healthy eating habits is necessary for better workouts. These steps can help you make the most of your diet and reach your fitness goals.
Article written by Rose Joseph