Many of us like to keep fit by performing some sort of exercise. Whether you go to the gym on a regular basis or play a chosen sport it is important that you compliment physical exercise with a correct diet.
Finding the right balance between nutrition and exercise is fundamental in maintaining your physical fitness. We are going to look at different aspects such as:
- What are the benefits of eating the right foods?
- Levels of energy that we require.
- Eating before, during and after exercise.
All these points are beneficial in keeping fit whilst maintaining a good healthy diet.
What are the Benefits of Eating the Right Foods?
The importance of eating the right foods is that it gives our body strength and energy to perform during our chosen exercise. When we participate in exercise routines our bodies require additional energy as our body is working harder than usual. By eating the right amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats we can maintain maximum performance levels and reduce the risk of bad performance and possible injury.
It is also important that you keep hydrated when you exercise as your body is continuously losing fluid from the body sweat that it is releasing.
The Levels of Energy That We Require
Understanding how much energy we need on a daily basis can be achieved by working out our individual basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the amount of calories that our body requires to keep functioning while we are resting. Your BMR rate is affected and goes up by different things such as:
- Age and weight
You can find out how many calories you require daily by multiplying your BMR by your physical activity level (PAL). According to the UK Dietary Reference Values the daily amount of calories for 19 to 50 year olds is as follows:
- 2,550 – Men
- 1,940 – Women
Depending on what you are aiming to achieve whether it be losing excess body fat or building up body muscle you will add or subtract from this amount accordingly.
There are many different nutritional menus designed to fit in with your requirements. For example if you register for a prestige boot camp you will be given a menu that will cater for what you wish to achieve in respect to weight loss or weight gain.
Eating Before, During and After Exercise
The main importance of eating before exercise is that it will provide you with the relevant levels of energy to complete your routine. It is important to eat the correct foods such as a meal that contains plenty of carbohydrates, as this will increase your glucose and glycogen levels. Furthermore make sure the meal contains a level of protein as this will help in your recovery when you finish your exercise program.
Eating during exercise provides glucose for your muscles thus preventing you from becoming tired too quickly. Examples of this are tennis players eating bananas between games and cyclists drinking energy drinks while they are racing. It is important to maintain your endurance levels while you participate in your activity.
It is very important to eat soon after you have finished your exercise program. Once you have finished exercising you need to replace the stores of glycogen that you have used. The amount of food required will depend on how long and hard you have been exercising and when you plan to exercise next.
It is argued that you should eat within 30 minutes of finishing your routine and you should aim to consume at least 1g of carbohydrate per 1kg of your body weight. Instead of eating a large meal some people prefer to drink a high-carbohydrate drink to replace the lost glycogen.
Audrey Smith is a writer for Prestige Boot Camp, provides fitness and weight loss boot camps across Europe. Their activities range from military leadership to obstacle courses.