A big section of exercising is the diet that you pair it with as well as knowing what the right diet is. This can sometimes take time to work-out or learn. This article aims to look at the kinds of diet is best for someone who plans to exercise on a regular basis.
When you begin to exercise, most people believe the best diet is one of mainly protein, as protein is helps towards muscle growth and repair, but it's not actually the case. The best diet for exercise is a in fact a high carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrates are the main fuel for the entire body, not just your muscles. Carbohydrates are stored in your liver and muscles as Glycogen, the problem is that these stores are small and therefore need topping up regularly. This is not only a healthier diet for exercise, but it is also known to improve your performance. Protein is still needed by the body, but not in the quantity that carbohydrates are needed.
The bulk of your daily energy intake should be carbohydrate. This should be around 60-70% which is 6 to 10g per kg of body mass per day. Food such as pasta, bread and starchy vegetables are rich in nutrients which is perfect for this.
There are a few simple steps to enhance your exercise routine. You should have as much food and drinks with a high glycaemic index which contain a high sugar content. This could include an energy drink or even some honey before, during and after exercise. Energy drinks are ideal because, like water they replace fluids in your body, but they also contain a lot of carbohydrates and are more digested quicker than food.
It is also a great idea to stock up on carbs around an hour before you exercise to help your fuel levels and boost your motivation. You need to be careful though as your body can only take around 30-60g per hour while you exercise, so try not to overdo it. If you plan and practice you will eventually get a fuelling strategy that suits you best. A sport bar or energy drink are the best ways to keep your carbs up during exercise such as running
Before you've even started exercising it is a good idea three or four hours before to eat a high carb meal. This will help build up the amount of carbs stored in your body. Between 1-4 g per kg of body mass is needed. Here are a few suitable examples:
- Four slices of toast with jam and a banana
- A bowl of muesli with raisins and a glass of orange juice
- A jacket potato with 200g of baked beans
If you are taking Part in an event or sport lasting longer than an hour it is essential to top up your carbs by eating or drinking. Towards the end of your exercise, the ingested carbs will become your main source of fuel. Try to gradually consume 30-60g of carbohydrate over an hour. Energy bars, isotonic sports drinks, carb jells and maybe surprisingly jelly sweets would work best for this.
When you finish exercising you should try and consume enough carbohydrates to replenish what you have used. Muscle recovery can be helped by taking protein.