Nutrition plays a crucial role in your fitness plan in a variety of ways. The first is providing fuel for your workout. You can’t expect to exercise hard when all you’ve had to eat that day is a diet soda and a candy bar. To really get the most out of your workout, you need to fill your tank with quality foods and drinks to give you the energy exercise requires.
The right pre-workout foods include healthy carbs, such as whole-grain bread and fruits and veggies. Be sure to avoid saturated fats and large amounts of protein right before your workout. And as always, stay hydrated. If your workout lasts longer than an hour, refuel with 50-100 calories of carbohydrates every half hour. Post-workout nutrition includes drinking a lot of water, along with eating carbs and protein to help restore your body’s energy stores and help with muscle repair.
Nutrition, along with exercise, also helps you maintain a healthy body weight. Many people begin an exercise regimen expecting to lose weight, only to find they remain the same or even gain a few pounds. This is often because they aren’t paying attention to the nutrition side of the equation. They fall into the mentality of “I can eat this because I will burn it off later”. Other people do try to “diet,” but end up increasing their cravings and slowing their metabolism because they are restricting calories.
The proper nutrition to help you stay fit and healthy includes balanced meals to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Aim to eat meals that are made up of lean proteins, healthy fats, and healthy carbs in moderation.