Eating a well-balanced diet can help you get the calories and nutrients you need to fuel your daily activities, including regular exercise.
When it comes to eating foods to fuel your exercise performance, it’s not as simple as choosing vegetables over doughnuts. You need to eat the right types of food at the right times of the day.
Learn about the importance of healthy breakfasts, workout snacks, and meal plans.
Protein is needed to help keep your body growing, maintained, and repaired. For example, the University of Rochester Medical Center reports that red blood cells die after about 120 days.
Protein is also essential for building and repairing muscles, helping you enjoy the benefits of your workout. It can be a source of energy when carbohydrates are in short supply, but it’s not a major source of fuel during exercise.
Adults need to eat about 0.8 grams of protein per day for every kilogram of their body weight, reports Harvard Health Blog. That’s equal to about 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. Exercisers and older adults may need even more.
Protein can come from:
- poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- red meat, such as beef and lamb
- fish, such as salmon and tuna
- dairy, such as milk and yogurt
- legumes, such as beans and lentils
For the healthiest options, choose lean proteins that are low in saturated and trans fats. Limit the amount of red meat and processed meats that you eat.
Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of natural fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that your body needs to function properly. They’re also low in calories and fat.
Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal, recommends the United States Department of Agriculture.
Try to “eat the rainbow” by choosing fruits and veggies of different colors. This will help you enjoy the full range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the produce aisle has to offer.
Every time you go to the grocery store, consider choosing a new fruit or vegetable to try. For snacks, keep dried fruits in your workout bag and raw veggies in the fridge.
Unsaturated fats may help reduce inflammation and provide calories.
While fat is a primary fuel for aerobic exercise, we have plenty stored in the body to fuel even the longest workouts. However, getting healthy unsaturated fats helps to provide essential fatty acids and calories to keep you moving.
Healthy options include:
- oils, such as olive oil
When it comes to fueling up before or after a workout, it’s important to achieve the right balance of carbs and protein. Pre-workout snacks that combine carbohydrates with protein can make you feel more energized than junk foods made from simple sugars and lots of fat.
Consider stocking your workout bag and refrigerator with some of these simple snacks.
If you need
any help or any advice ask one of the team today. Snacks and supplements available at reception and the gym shop.