Being active plays a vital role in health and wellbeing, but exercise is just a part of your overall fitness state. According to studies, nutrition has the most significant influence on our fitness, and having a well-balanced diet is just as important as the activities you do. Here are five nutrition tips to make your workouts more effective.
- Avoid Skipping Meals
Skipping meals is a big NO when you are on the journey to achieving your fitness goals. It is a wrong approach, especially for losing weight and long-term weight management. Our body is like a machine that needs fuel to work. Consuming three balanced meals and one or two healthy snacks throughout the day ensures you have the energy you need to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes.
- Avoid Cutting Too Many Calories.
You should never significantly decrease your calorie intake when you're trying to losing weight. In doing so, your body could think it is starving and will store fat, and your metabolism will slow. Excessive dieting can also lead you to crave foods and binge as a result. Create an eating plan that leads to a gradual reduction in calorie intake, which will be far more sustainable and beneficial over the long term.
- Increase Intake of Whole Foods
Whole foods are plant-based foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, so they are rich in nutrients and taste, just like nature intended. Including whole foods is a great way to get the nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber you need as part of a balanced diet. This can also assist in weight loss and reducing the risk of diseases such as diabetes.
Try to avoid protein drinks and energy bars that are readily available; they are usually high in sugars and additives that can contribute to weight gain.
- Replenish Your Electrolytes
Exercising causes you to sweat a lot, which leads to the depletion of electrolytes. Keeping supplied with electrolytes such as Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Chloride, Phosphate, Magnesium, and Bicarbonate play a vital role in the body. They transmit nerve signals and facilitate the communication between the brain and the body. They are also responsible for muscle contraction (including the heart), hydration, and body pH levels regulation.
Coconut water provides a quick energy and electrolyte boost during or after a workout. Bananas, watermelon, avocados, and milk can also replenish electrolytes fast.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids, not only during your workout but also throughout the entire day to prevent dehydration. Our bodies need water to survive and is vital to maintaining a healthy body and mind.
Dehydration depletes the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells, which can be harmful to athletes. So always have your water bottle handy, especially during your workout. If you want to know how much fluid your body needs, the basic rule of thumb is:
35 ml x kg body weight = ml fluid per day
If you perform moderate or intense physical activity, drink an additional 0.5 to 1 liter of fluids.
Nutrition is an essential consideration in your fitness routine and goals. Your calorie intake should depend on your need to support your lifestyle and fitness goals. Your meal plan should consist of a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. And when you eat can also contribute to the effectiveness of your workouts. Remember, you cannot get the fitness results you desire if you adopt unhealthy diet habits and practices.