How To Eat During Training And Sports?

If your goals or plans include regular physical activity (fitness, running, swimming, yoga), you should also take care of proper nutrition, which would adequately provide your body with everything it needs.

Regular (3-5 times a week) intense training (each time I do a little more/longer) load is accompanied by changes in the composition of the blood, in the work of the cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal and nervous systems of organs.

What to eat before training

To provide enough oxygen and nutrients (amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, water, ions) to the working muscles, the heart beats faster and stronger, breathing becomes faster, and blood pressure rises. This is the result of the influence of the nervous system, which requires glucose to achieve.

Therefore, the pre-workout menu should include complex carbohydrates (whole grains in the form of cereals, bread, pasta, cereals), simple natural carbohydrates (dried fruits, fresh juices).

What to eat for muscle growth

Regular training is accompanied by an increase in the number and size of muscle fibers, so the need for protein increases. Poultry, fish, red meat, dairy products, lentils, beans, soybeans, buckwheat will provide protein and therefore amino acids for “building” structures, as well as for the synthesis of hemoglobin, the need for which also increases with regular physical activity. Iron sources include, in addition to the aforementioned beef, lentils, and buckwheat, liver, beets, apples, and prunes.

Nutrition for training efficiency

The formation of new blood cells, which is typical of physical activity, requires a higher intake of folic acid (green leafy vegetables, broccoli) and other B vitamins (animal products such as dairy, meat, eggs, nuts, and seeds).

Working muscles and the heart, in particular, require a sufficient amount of energy, which, during prolonged exertion, is derived mainly from the metabolism of fatty acids.

Therefore, the diet should contain an adequate amount of healthy fats of various origins – olive oil, fatty fish, avocados, seeds, nuts, butter. During short-term exercise, the main source of energy for the muscles is glycogen (glucose polymer) stores. Therefore, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of the energy consumed.

Rules for healthy eating during training

In conditions of increased nutritional and energy needs of the body, it is important to have a normal digestive system, including regular bowel movements. This can be easily achieved by consuming a sufficient amount of dietary fiber (unpeeled vegetables and fruits, seeds, bran, whole grains) and probiotics (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut).

Exercise increases the intensity of biochemical processes in the cell, in particular those involving oxygen. This is accompanied by the formation of free radicals. Therefore, the diet should be rich in antioxidants – colored fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins C and E (citrus fruits, pumpkin, various berries, apples, persimmons).

Drinking regimen during training

During exercise, the body loses a lot of water and salts through sweat. Therefore, your drinking regimen should be adjusted to account for these losses. Drinking enough fluids will also have a positive effect on food absorption.

Calorie intake during training

The total calorie intake will depend on the goals of your exercise routine. If the goal is to maintain a healthy body, then energy expenditure should be fully covered.

If training is part of a weight loss program, then there must obviously be an energy deficit, but one that does not deplete protein reserves and minimal fat reserves (the hormone leptin, which regulates appetite, is formed in adipose tissue!, and the state of reproductive function and stress resistance also depend on it).

So, let’s start a physical wellness program with a plate of a balanced breakfast, which Harvard Health School experts strongly advise you not to miss!

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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