A healthy diet is essential to your physical well-being. It helps you stay fit, strong and active throughout life. A balanced diet can help prevent many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Eating the right foods will also improve athletic performance by helping with recovery from training or competition. Just think about athletes who get recruited by Probellum Boxing (click here to learn more). They need more energy to endure the strenuous routine exercises they undertake and challenging competitions they take part in.
Athletes are often told to eat more, but what does that mean? What is the best way to fuel your body during exercise and competition? How can you make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need without overdoing it or compromising performance? The answer lies in understanding how food affects our bodies. The right foods will help us perform better while also helping us recover from training sessions and competitions. The following article explains some of these benefits:
1) Healthy diet offer sufficient energy that athletes desperately need
The first thing to know about nutrition is that it’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it as well. Eating too much at once can cause your body to feel sluggish or even crash after eating. This means that if you want to maximize energy levels during exercise, then you need to make sure that you have enough fuel available before starting out on any workout session.
A good way to do this is by consuming high-energy foods like fruits and vegetables 30 minutes prior to exercising. These types of foods contain carbohydrates which provide quick energy to muscles so they don’t fatigue easily. They also give you an extra boost of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Fruits and veggies are great because they come with fiber content which helps keep you full longer. Fiber also has other health benefits including lowering cholesterol and reducing risk of heart disease.
2) Healthy diet supports development of muscles for better athlete performance
Another important aspect of sports nutrition is building muscle mass. When we train hard, our bodies produce more protein than usual. Protein builds new tissue and repairs damaged cells. It also increases metabolism rate which allows us burn calories faster. To build muscle, you should consume proteins twice per day.
You may be wondering why there isn’t one single type of protein that works best for everyone. There actually are several different kinds of proteins depending on their source. For example, whey protein contains branched chain amino acids, leucine being one of them. BCAAs increase protein synthesis within muscles and thus promote growth.
On the other hand, casein protein doesn’t stimulate protein synthesis as effectively. Instead, it promotes fat loss through satiety effect. Casein protein is found naturally in milk products. Other sources include eggs, meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, soybeans, tofu, and more. Be sure to consult with your nutritionist to get the right diet that can support healthy growth of muscles.
3) Healthy diet supports timely and efficient recovery after performance
Recovery is another key factor in athletic performance. After working out, our bodies go into repair mode where they focus on rebuilding tissues and repairing damage caused by intense workouts. During recovery period, our bodies release hormones called glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoid stimulates glucose production in liver and converts fats into glycogen. Glycogen stores are used later on during endurance exercises.
In addition, glucocorticoid causes water retention in muscles and skin. Water retention makes muscles look bigger and stronger. However, excessive amounts of cortisol can lead to stress fractures and overtraining syndrome. Therefore, it’s essential to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes during rest periods. Sports drinks containing sodium chloride, potassium citrate, magnesium sulfate, calcium lactate, and carbohydrate work very efficiently in restoring hydration status.
4) Healthy diet helps athletes burn unwanted body fat
Fat burning comes next. Our goal here is to lose weight since excess pounds hinder our ability to move freely. We achieve this by increasing metabolic rates and decreasing appetite. Metabolic rate refers to amount of calories burned daily. Appetite control happens due to hormone leptin released by adipose tissue. Leptin tells brain whether we are hungry or full. If we are starving, leptin sends signals to stop eating.
5) Healthy diet supports carbohydrate loading among athletes
Carbohydrates play a vital role in fueling our bodies during physical activity. Without carbs, we won’t last long during strenuous activities. Carbs are broken down into simple sugars. Simple sugar enters bloodstream quickly and gives immediate energy. As mentioned earlier, insulin plays a major role in regulating blood sugar level. Insulin is produced by pancreas gland. Once blood sugar reaches certain threshold, insulin triggers storage process.
This leads to increased levels of triglycerides. Triglyceride accumulation results in belly bulge. High-carb diets cause rapid rise in blood sugar followed by sharp drop after workout. These fluctuations make your body feel tired and sluggish. That’s why high carb meals before exercise helps improve stamina and reduce fatigue. However, you should be careful with carbohydrates. They can lead to unnecessary weight gain and eventually affect your performance. So, consult with your coach and nutritionist.
6) Healthy pre workout meal makes the entire workout session effective
Pre workout meal consists of carbohydrates and protein. Both types of nutrients have unique effects on human physiology. First, carbohydrates provide quick energy boost. They also trigger secretion of adrenaline and noradrenaline. This prepares our bodies for vigorous activity. Second, protein boosts strength and improves recovery time between sets. Finally, preworkout meal provides fuel for muscles so they don’t get depleted during heavy lifting session.
7) Excellent post workout meal supports healthy recovery
Post workout meal has similar purpose as pre workout meal but with opposite effects. It should be low in fat content because higher fat intake increases post workout inflammation. Also, it shouldn’t contain any complex carbohydrates that spike blood sugar rapidly. Instead, it should consist of proteins and fast digesting starches like rice, pasta, potatoes, and more.
It’s important to mention that athletes must consult with the right nutritionists and trainers to make sound diet choices. After all, your diet could support or ruin your overall performance.