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How to eat a balanced diet during exercise

Author:Admin │ Publication Date:2021-06-06 

The human body is like a machine that requires a constant intake of energy to keep it running properly, but here are some suggestions on how we can achieve balanced nutrition for good health during exercise.

The right nutrition for your workout

   1.Don't neglect nutrition

      Many people may overlook the importance of a nutritional base when exercising, which can lead to a lack of essential nutrients in the body.
      The body does not get enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, and this can harm your health and athletic performance.
      In fact, fueling your body is as simple as following the established rules of a healthy diet: eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, consume lean protein, eat healthy fats, consume whole-grain carbohydrates, and drink plenty of water, especially water.

   2.Provide your body with energy (even if your goal is to lose weight)

     Give your body the energy it needs to do the job you want — even if you are trying to lose weight.

      Skimping on nutrition can reduce muscle mass, lower bone density and cause fatigue. This puts you at risk of injury and illness, increases recovery time, causes hormonal problems, and, for women, menstrual issues.

      Make sure your diet plan supplies enough nutrient-dense calories so you can exercise and stay injury-free and healthy.

   3.Carbohydrate intake

      Carbohydrates get a bad rap with some people. But research over the past 50 years has shown that carbs help your body during long and high-intensity exercise. In fact, the more active you are, the more carbs you need.

      During a workout, carbohydrates fuel your brain and muscles.

          1) Carbs for the average workout — If you are in good shape and want to fuel a daily, light-intensity workout, eat about 3 to 5 grams of carbohydrates for every kilogram of body weight. For someone who weighs 150 pounds (68 kilograms) that's between 200 and 340 grams a day.

           2) Carbs for longer workouts — If you exercise more than an hour a day, you may need 6 to 10 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound person, that's 408 to 680 grams a day.

     Pick healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread and pasta, sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.

      4.Rebuild with protein

         Protein is important because it provides the amino acids your body needs to build and repair muscle.

         Most research suggests very active people should eat 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. That means a 150-pound person should eat 82 to 136 grams each day. People who aren't active should eat less protein. Aim for .8 grams per kilogram of body weight each day.

         Good sources of protein are poultry (25 grams in 3 ounces) and fish (20 grams in 3 ounces). Those who prefer to avoid meat can try soybeans (20 grams per cup) and legumes like beans, peanuts and chickpeas (about 15 grams per cup). Eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese and tofu are good sources, too.

        5.Don't ignore fats

            Fat is a confusing topic for many people. But it's essential to a healthy diet. Fat provides energy and helps your body absorb vitamins. Some vitamins (like A, D, E and K) actually need fat to properly benefit your body.

           Be sure to pick unsaturated fats. Good sources are avocado, olive and canola oils, flaxseed and nuts.

So what should a person eat before, during and after exercise?

         Before Exercise:

            Have some high carbohydrate foods like bananas, bagels or fruit juices. These foods are broken down quickly and provide glucose to the muscles.

            The timing of this meal depends on the persons preference for eating before exercise, but researchers have found that eating something from 1 to 4 hours before exercise helps keep plenty of blood glucose available for working muscles.

            It is also critical to drink plenty of cool water before exercise to keep muscles hydrated.

        In motion:

            Perspiration and exertion deplete the body of fluids necessary for an optimal performance and lead to dehydration. It is important to drink plenty of cool water, at least a half a cup of water every 20 minutes of exercise. Adding a teaspoon of sugar, a little fruit juice or a small amount of powdered drink mix flavors plain water and may encourage fluid intake.

            Usually there is no need to worry about replacing carbohydrates unless the exercise lasts over 90 minutes and is hard and continuous. When this happens, drinking a sports drink or other beverage with some sugar in it will fuel and water to the muscles being exercised.

            Make a homemade sports drink by mixing no more than 4 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and some flavoring (like a teaspoon of lemon juice) in 8 ounces of water.

         After exercise:

            If the exercise was strenuous and lasted a long time, glycogen stores may need refueling. Consuming foods and beverages high in carbohydrates right after exercise will replenish glycogen stores if they are low after exercising.

            No matter the intensity of the exercise, it's important to drink plenty of water and eat a nutritious, balanced meal that has lots of carbohydrate rich foods such as grains, pastas, potatoes, vegetables and fruits. A teaspoon of sugar, at only 15 calories* per teaspoon, adds flavor to these foods and may increase taste appeal.

A good diet can help us achieve better results in sports and also make our workouts more effective.