Your Performance Can Be Improved by a Healthy Diet

Your Performance Can Be Improved by a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet provides the energy and nutrients your body needs to perform well. It should be rich in whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains.

A healthy diet is also low in fat and includes a variety of foods. Avoid consuming junk food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar, or sodium.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source during exercise and it is important to have enough in reserve. They are also one of three large energy-yielding nutrients known as macronutrients. The other two are fats and proteins. The body prefers to use carbohydrates for fuel because they are a more readily available and efficient energy source than fats and protein. The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugars, which are absorbed by the blood and used for energy during exercise. Carbohydrates can be found in many foods including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are considered healthy when consumed in moderation because they provide the body with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Carbohydrate intake during exercise increases performance and delays the onset of fatigue*. It also spares liver glycogen, prevents a drop in blood glucose concentration, and helps maintain the high rate of carbohydrate oxidation necessary to sustain exercise intensity. Taking Fildena 150 and Super Avana pills daily is an effective way to fight against erectile dysfunction.

For optimal results, it is recommended that a carbohydrate load be completed 1-4 days before an endurance competition or intense training session. A carbohydrate load involves increasing dietary carbohydrate consumption up to and including a maximum of 7-12 g/kg-1 body mass (BM). This is an acceptable range that should be customized to the individual athlete by monitoring physiological parameters, taking into account upcoming competition or training session demands, and keeping health risks at a minimum.

The type of carbohydrate is also important when determining the amount to consume. It is best to stick with a natural, whole-food source of carbohydrates. Foods such as beans, 100% whole grain bread and pasta, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and berries are good sources of carbohydrates and also offer other nutrients like soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The majority of carbohydrates should come from these sources rather than from added sugars. Foods containing added sugars, such as bakery items, candy bars, and soda, are not the best source of energy because they are often loaded with unhealthy fats and raise triglyceride levels, which can lead to heart disease.

Carbohydrates are essential for all athletes, whether they are recreational, competitive, or elite. Having adequate carbohydrates will improve performance and help prevent and reduce the breakdown of proteins in the muscles.

Protein

Protein is a building block of the body and plays an important role in muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, hormones, enzymes, red blood cells, and other tissues. It also helps fuel exercise and supports recovery from exercise by helping to repair muscle damage. Protein is also a key factor in maintaining the balance of fluids in the body, preventing dehydration, and ensuring that cells get the nutrients they need.

While the bulk of energy during exercise comes from carbohydrates, the body does require some protein to help prevent muscle wasting and provide amino acids needed for cellular repair. Since the body can only store a limited amount of protein, it is important to have a consistent protein intake throughout the day. Protein can be found in a variety of foods, including dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, soy and nut proteins, and beans.

For those who participate in endurance training, consuming an adequate amount of protein may improve performance by helping reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins during and after exercise. This, in turn, allows you to keep more of your muscles and may aid in reducing soreness and fatigue from long workouts.

Ideally, you should ingest protein soon after exercise to take advantage of the nutrient’s muscle-building effects. Protein should be a part of every meal and snack and should come from high-quality sources like eggs, milk, and other dairy products, lean meats and fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.

It is recommended that adults consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, which equates to about 56 grams for an adult who weighs 70 kg. While many people easily meet these recommendations through a healthy diet, those who train for endurance events may need to up their protein intake to better support training and recovery. Protein supplements are available as shakes, bars, and capsules but it is best to get the protein you need from whole foods. This way you can be sure you are getting a variety of other vitamins and minerals as well.

Fat

Despite the low-fat fad of the 1990s, healthy fats are an essential part of any diet. Getting the right balance of unsaturated fats can improve your performance and health. Try eating nuts, seeds (including sunflower, pistachios, pecans, and pumpkin), olive oil, avocado, whole-wheat bread, muesli, and some low-fat dairy foods.

Although fat doesn’t provide an instant performance boost, it can help you train with lower glycogen stores so you become more accustomed to functioning without it. This is the idea behind the popular “train low, race high” paradigm of many endurance athletes. Learn more about Nutrition for Exercise and Weight Management.

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are critical in tiny amounts to many important bodily functions including growth, development, functioning of the body, disease prevention, and overall health. They are also known as micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals cannot be produced by the body, so they need to be consumed through the diet for your system to work properly. Vitamins and minerals are found in a variety of foods such as meat, fish, milk and dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.

The difference between vitamins and minerals is that vitamins are organic (made by living things) and minerals are inorganic (found in rocks and soil). Vitamins are much smaller than minerals and can be dissolved in water. Minerals are larger than vitamins and can only be absorbed through a diet high in protein (for example, dietary sources of iron) and a healthy digestive tract.

Water-soluble vitamins are soluble in water and travel easily through the bloodstream to all cells, where they can perform their functions. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins, shunting excesses to the urine when necessary. Water-soluble vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and biotin. These vitamins help release energy from the food you eat, build proteins and cell structures, and help maintain the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, dissolve in fatty acids and are stored in your body for longer periods. These vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Minerals, on the other hand, are not as small as vitamins and are mainly found in plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Larger mineral substances that the body requires in relatively larger quantities are called macrominerals; these include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and chloride. The remaining mineral substances, needed in very small amounts, are called trace minerals and include iron, chromium, fluoride, iodine, selenium, and zinc.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are very common and can interfere with optimal performance. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals is by eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods, which means consuming fresh and frozen produce in season, as well as a wide array of lean protein sources and whole grains. You may also want to take a multivitamin or a targeted supplement, but be sure to check with your physician and/or dietitian to make sure you don’t exceed the recommended upper limits of certain micronutrients.

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