Being passionate about working out is admirable. However, is it enough to take you to your ultimate goal? Do you know what it takes to get there? Being determined and prepared for that journey is the best way to get to your goal. Reaching the objective on your fitness journey is fulfilling. And you have to make sure that you have enough energy to last until the end.
Every time you do any kind of exercise or a workout, these strenuous activities are sourcing the energy from your body. Wouldn’t that help you lose weight? Certainly. Even if you aim to lose weight, properly fuelling your body is a must. Without the necessary nutrition, working out won’t feel as good. Besides that, for the rest of your day, you’ll feel tired and fatigued.
Many professional athletes never give away their secret to durability and stamina. However, we’ve discovered that the secret lies within proper nutrition. Here are the best ways to fuel your body and boost your energy during the day.
Healthy overall diet
It’s commonly known that you need nutrition to be able to function normally. Unless you’re a doctor or a health expert, you’re probably not familiar with the concept of food and healthy diets. You are aware that you need to intake a little bit of everything, but what does that even mean?
Many people are forcing the concept of a healthy diet upon us. But they forget to include one not so tiny detail: a healthy diet for one person doesn’t have to be beneficial for the other. While many individuals are satisfied with “whatever is in the fridge”, if you want to improve your body, eating a large variety of food is necessary.
Your diet should consist of carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. On top of that, you mustn’t forget to hydrate properly. How exactly do they boost your energy and fuel your body? Everything that makes you feel energetic and healthy could be included in your diet. After all, you know your body the best.
Greens, beans and other magical things
Have you heard of the story of Jack and magic beans? The beans you eat might not take you to the mysterious kingdom in the sky and make you fortunate materialistically, but they will enrichen your body. How can they do that?
Greens and beans are a great source of vitamins such as K, A, C, and many more. They contain a lot of fiber and folic acid, which are great for boosting your digestion and generally renewing your body. How do they do that? Natural folic acids help your body produce and maintain a high level of new cells. This includes red blood cells.
What happens if you don’t consume enough folic acid and other mighty vitamins? Simply put, you’ll get the contra-effect of what you were hoping to get- anemia. An anemic person is tired all the time, and easily irritated by small changes in the environment. This lack of energy and mood swings may cause you to drop out on your fitness plan. In addition to that, you might feel dizzy, nauseous, and fatigued. All of that takes away your body’s fuel instead of adding it. So, if you want to be as energetic as ever, don’t forget to consume the beans and greens.
Too much or not enough carbs?
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t eat so many carbs unless you want to gain a lot of weight. Well, this is partly right. Eating too many carbs while not working out or getting enough physical movement can be dreadful for your body. However, can carbs be useful for you if you’re exercising?
Did you know that during the workout, carbs are the fuel your body burns? That’s why the diet of those who regularly exercise should consist of around 50-60% carbohydrates. Does the intensity of a workout matter? Nope, if you work out. Professional athletes and motivated individuals who workout now and then don’t have to rely on sports gels and other sugary supplements. Consuming enough carbs will provide your muscles and body with instant energy.
For high intensity and endurance training, intaking enough carbs is essential if you want to maintain your body weight. Longer training sessions and strenuous competitions such as marathons burn a lot of your energy. Introduce more bread, potato, and spaghetti to your diet, to keep your body fuelled.
Are you hungry, or just thirsty?
Believe it or not, something simple, yet powerful like water provides our bodies with a lot of energy during the day. It helps our body digest the food faster. Additionally, it slows down the fast eaters helping them to chew slower and more thoroughly, which affects their weight. However, many people don’t understand their bodies and mix the signals of being thirsty and hungry.
How can you distinguish them? Before you stuff more food in your mouth, ask yourself when was the last time you drank a glass of water. If it was more than a couple of hours ago, your body is probably just thirsty. This means that eating more food won’t satiate hunger. If your aim is to control the food intake, drinking around 250-350 ml of water with your meal is ideal for minimizing unnecessary food consumption. Don’t forget to sip more water during the day.
A secret key to endurance is water. If you exercise moderately, your water intake should increase. On the other hand, if you’re indulging in high-intensity interval training, consider switching the regular water with sodium water. Sodium water is rich with minerals and is generally magnificent for minimizing muscle pain and cramping.
Is there such a thing as healthy fats?
Many people associate fats with something disastrous and something that should be avoided. However, the reality is different. A healthy body consists of around 18-30% of body fat, depending on your gender. There’s also a minimum body fat percentage for athletes. To maintain body fats at a healthy level, you should consume healthy fats and avoid those that are considered unhealthy.
Every cell in our body requires a certain amount of body fat to properly function. Without fats, our cells won’t be able to absorb minerals and vitamins from the food we consume. Additionally, we’d create a hormonal disbalance. Besides carbs, fats are one of the best sources of energy in our body. They build energy reserves that help us function and stay physically active. Plus, they keep our organs healthy by protecting and insulating them.
Fats found in chicken meat, fish, and dairy should be consumed a few times a week. For a healthier body, avoid eating them daily. On the other hand, healthy fats can be found in food such as olives, nuts, avocado, and seeds. Be moderate in consumption.
The first thing that pops up in your mind when you hear the word snack is probably something unhealthy like sweets and crisps. And even though they are delicious, they can be harmful to your body.
Refined and processed sugars give you instant energy. However, their intake is usually followed by an energy crash, which requires more sweets that contain an abundance of unnecessary calories. They not only affect your weight but also, influence your overall health. Instead of throwing all your efforts to waste with a diet like that, consider switching to healthier snacks.
Fresh fruits, veggies, or protein are ideal for keeping your energy on a high level during the day. Besides being extremely healthy for you, they are rich in vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system and protect you from colds and viruses. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Micronutrients are crucial as well
No diet is complete without micronutrients. What are micronutrients? According to the World Health Organisation, micronutrients can be considered magical potions. They help our bodies regulate and produce hormones, enzymes, and other essential substances necessary for development and growth. Where can we find them?
They are usually found in food rich in vitamins and minerals. For example, Vitamin A is marvelous for improving your vision and boosting your immune system. It’s also great for your complexion, plus it helps children grow. It can be found in ingredients such as egg yolk, oily fish, carrots, and cheese. In addition to that, vitamin C is vital for your bones, teeth, and gums. It helps your body fight off various infections and heals the wounds. You can find vitamin C in a wide range of fruits and veggies, such as broccoli or oranges.
Iron and calcium are also crucial micronutrients for your body. Having enough iron in your body is essential. It transports the oxygen through your entire body and boosts your immune system. Iron deficiency can cause the anemia we’ve discussed. Calcium, on the other hand, builds and maintains bones. It also makes sure that no blood vessel is clogged and it regulates blood pressure. You can find calcium in dairy, especially milk, cheese, and yogurt.
No matter what kind of diet you follow, proteins are a must for a healthy body. Their intake doesn’t entirely depend on the food you eat. It depends on your height, weight, and type of exercise you do. It would be ideal if you obtained 15-20% of your daily calories from proteins. However, if your goal is to add more muscle mass, you might need to add more proteins to your diet. This is a golden rule, specifically if your workouts are based on endurance training such as running.
If your main goal is to build muscles, professionals suggest that you should eat protein more frequently during the day. So, instead of filling your dinner plate with a lot of food containing protein, such as eggs, meat, and dairy, add more protein to your breakfast.
Your goals and exercises you do can also help you determine how much protein you should consume. For example, if your main goal is to lose weight, tone muscles, or gain lean muscle mass, experts suggest taking 20 grams of complete protein after the workout. Brands like True Protein will provide you with the high-quality protein you should consume as soon as the exercise is done to support your muscles. They are rich in amino acids that improve your workout durability and ability, plus they are efficient for the after-workout muscle recovery.
When to eat?
Now that you know all the nutrient basics, having a solid diet plan is essential for many athletes. Besides planning what you’re going to eat, some find it efficient to plan when they are going to eat. Many individuals find 3 meals and 2 snacks per day ideal for their lifestyle. If you’re one of them, keep up the excellent work.
Did you know that many people associate breakfast with weight management? Even though breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, a professional athlete’s eating habits may suggest otherwise. Believe it or not, it’s not vital when we eat during the day. It’s important to consume all the necessary nutrients during our meals.
Everyone knows that eating and working out straight after it is not an ideal combo. If you want to sync your meals with your workouts, you need to remember one thing: never exercise with your stomach full. If you workout early in the morning, you’re better off without breakfast before the workout. In case you do your fitness routine during the day or in the evening, make sure you’ve had a full meal with carbs 3 to 4 hours before. When you finish working out, don’t forget to have a meal 1 to 2 hours after it.
As you can see, knowing the basics of nutrients and diets really helps you improve the workout efficiency by fuelling your body. Every ingredient, mineral or vitamin has its purpose. Their main goal is to help our bodies survive through the day with all the strenuous activities we do.
When creating a perfect diet, balance is crucial. Knowing what is beneficial and what isn’t to your body can really help you achieve your goals faster. So, don’t risk, make an effort to find out what suits your body and what doesn’t.