Lockdown is easing, we’re all getting a bit more active and we’re back hitting the gym. After the year we’ve had, you might be finding it hard to fuel your workouts, but don’t fear, we’ve written this easy guide on how to optimise your nutrition to help you train better than ever before.
As with most things in your body, muscles need to be hydrated to function at their optimal levels. Whether you’re hydrating before hitting the gym, before an important race, or just going for a walk. Without enough water, your muscles are not getting the electrolytes they need to perform – which results in weakening strength, control and even dehydration.
If you drink the appropriate amount of water, your muscles become energised, allowing you to be more awake, alert, and perform at a higher level. This can also help increase your endurance and pain tolerance.
Take your vitamins
Taking the correct vitamins can really help push you further in the gym, on a run, or just give you more energy in your day-to-day life.
B vitamins – Taking a multivitamin with B vitamins will help you release energy. They play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.
Omega-3 – Recently, there have been studies on supplementing Omega-3 with a high protein diet to aid in both recovery and performance. It turns out reaction time is improved, possibly because the fatty acids are important for the fats in the brain that support nerve transmission. Omega-3 also reduces heart rate and therefore the amount of oxygen your body gets through. In turn endurance is increased.
Eat a big breakfast
Breakfast has been hailed as one of the most important meals of the day, the truth is all meals are important. However, eating a nutritious breakfast can have some amazing benefits.
If you’re working out first thing in the morning then your breakfast can be a great way to get a load of protein in. This gives your body the food and nutrients it needs to help your muscles recover and grow.
It can also be a great way to give you the fuel you need throughout the day. Loading up on carbs and protein can fuel you through the day if you prefer an afternoon or evening workout.
Snacking is amazing. Whether you want to lose, gain or maintain weight, snacks can be the perfect way to get that extra bit of energy in your day or fuel your evening workout.
Here’s our list of nutritious snacks:
- Whole-wheat bread or cereals
- Yogurt with granola (There are loads of great plant-based yogurts)
- Peanut butter on toast
- Protein bars/shakes
Eat after you workout
It’s important to replace the energy you burn with quality carbs and protein, and to rehydrate yourself after working out.
The carbs and protein you take will help your muscles recover properly. Carbohydrates are important for muscle building because they’re protein sparing, which means the body looks to use energy from carbohydrates instead of breaking down muscle tissue for energy. Rehydrating with water will help transport nutrients into the cells and make sure you recover fully.
Balance is key
There are seven essential factors for a balanced diet: carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water. It’s important to optimise your nutrition to get in all of these to keep your body performing at its best.
Food is amazing, and it’s there to be enjoyed. We want to encourage you to eat for your health, body and your mind. Food fuels everything you do, so make sure you get the right foods to fuel your body, but don’t shy away from the occasional meal out or treat. These bring a lot of joy and you have to eat for your mind as well as your body!