No matter you are a professional athlete or a beginner level person for exercising, understanding the roles of nutrients is crucial. The things you eat and drink will define how you perform, how much you develop and for how long it takes for your muscles to improve.
Nutrients for Energy
With the correct amounts of calorie, nutrients and liquid that you get with a balanced nourishment, you obtain the required energy and endurance – and these two are crucial not only for the activities you will perform but also if you want to have a healthy lifestyle.
Carbohydrates provide the required energy for our bodies. Therefore, they are essential for exercising. The best carbohydrate option is complex carbohydrates. Do your best to prefer brown rice, whole wheat foods like whole wheat bread, fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
Although protein is important for muscles, it is just a myth that high amount of protein consumption increases muscle size. Increase in muscle size occurs solely based on exercising and weight training. Of course, in this way of muscle growth, adequate amount of protein is a must.
Be careful; excess amount of protein will:
Cause tiredness when you have the required carbohydrates
Be stored as fat
Increase the risk of calcium loss
Cause kidneys working excessively
Adequate Water Consumption
Adequate water consumption is a must to perform well. At this point, it is important to avoid from dehydration and also excessive water consumption as well.
To determine whether you consume enough amount of water or not, check the color of your urine. Dark color refers to dehydration and light yellow refers to adequate water consumption.
Experts recommend these about water consumption:
– For an activity that will last less than 60 minutes, consuming regular amount of water before, during and after the workout is enough.
– For activities that require more than 60 minutes, consume more water.
– If you sweat a lot, try to consume salty nutrients like a bowl of soup before and after exercising.
Just like you fill your car’s fuel tank before a journey, you should satisfy your body’s needs before exercising. The ideal option is to eat 2-3 hour before exercising. But if you can’t wait that much due to morning exercise, have a quick bite 30 minutes or 1 hour before exercising.
Options for having a quick bite are as follows:
- A small bowl of oatmeal
- Skimmed milk
- Fruit (apple) or fruit juice
- A slice of bread with honey or jam on it
Avoid nutrients of which fat, protein and fiber contents are high. These slows down digestion process and may cause cramps and tiredness.
If you will exercise intensively for more than 1 hour, you may need to eat something during the exercise. Consuming carbohydrate-rich nutrients may overcome stomach-intestine problems. For example, banana is a great choice.
If your training or workout is intense and long, then you need energy and the required nutrients. Better eat during the next 45 minutes from the end of the exercising. As your heart rate is higher than normal during this 45 minutes, electrolytes will be regenerated fast, energy required by muscles will be replaced and muscles will be recovered.
Your meal should contain carbohydrates, proteins and little amount of oil. You can prefer one of the followings:
- Whole-wheat bread, chicken meat and skimmed milk
- Brown rice, cheese, whole-wheat rye bread
- White meat, vegetables and stir-fried food with brown rice
- If you are not too hungry and won’t eat something as soon as possible, you can prefer balanced refreshments like:
- Yoghurt and fruit
- Banana and skimmed milk
Don’t forget that everyone is different. Some people may think that the recommended nutrients are good and others may think that the recommended nutrients are extreme. Try different nutrients and determine how your body responds. To do so, keep a diary and in this way, you will be able to determine what is best for you.