Exercise is an important part of health and fitness programs, and the foods consumed can affect exercise performance and results. Eating the right foods can help you exercise well and recover afterward, whereas eating the wrong foods or consuming too much of any type of food may set back your workout.
The body stores glucose in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles as a source of energy for muscles during short-term and high-intensity exercise. A number of factors contribute to exercise capacity, including intensity, type, and diet, and it is important to note that glycogen reserves in muscles are limited, and when these reserves are exhausted, exercise capacity is greatly reduced.
Carbohydrates can be found in the following healthy sources:
Grains and bread made from them.
Rice; brown rice;
Pasta made from whole wheat
Potatoes with an outer skin.
Including dried and canned fruits.
For a person not to feel tired during exercise, it is necessary to consume fast-digesting carbohydrates before exercise, such as an apple or banana five to ten minutes before exercising.
Protein-rich meals include:
In addition to building and repairing muscles, protein provides essential amino acids for a variety of body functions. Before exercising, eating a meal high in lean protein can help improve performance and increase muscle mass. As a result of resistance training, muscles are damaged, and proteins increase the number of amino acids in the body, which helps reduce muscle wasting, build muscle protein, and stimulate growth.
Before exercise, 20 to 30 grams of protein can be consumed to increase muscle protein synthesis, which continues for several hours afterward. You should consume at least 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day. Here are some examples of healthy protein-rich foods:
Chicken and turkey.
The following are some examples of good pre-workout snacks:
A Greek yogurt is:
Greek yogurt is one of the best sports snacks because it contains double the protein of regular yogurt, and it helps you feel full without making you feel bloated.
For a complete breakfast before a workout, oatmeal is a great source of high-quality carbohydrates.
During exercise, bananas provide sufficient calories and carbohydrates to satisfy hunger pangs.
Exercise is supported by certain meals because they contain carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein, such as:
Fruits and cheese.
Peanut butter and apple.
Crackers and vegetables with hummus.
Dried fruits and nuts.
Fruit and peanut butter on whole wheat toast.
Exercise-related meals to avoid:
We recommend avoiding the following foods before exercising:
Vegetables high in fiber: The body needs fiber, but not before exercise. It is recommended to choose vegetables that are easy to digest, such as asparagus and potatoes, and to avoid other sources of fiber, such as high-fiber cereals, since fiber-rich vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower can be difficult to digest, and may cause discomfort during exercise.
Choosing foods with a high fat content is a poor choice before beginning exercise and physical activity, for example, red meat requires the body to do a lot of work to convert fat into energy. Even before exercise begins, this may cause fatigue. When eaten just before exercise, fatty foods can cause stomach upset or discomfort, including: potato chips, French fries, avocados, olives, full-fat cheeses, and nuts.
Post-workout meals include:
During exercise, the body uses stored energy in the form of stored energy in the form of glycogen in the muscles, and after finishing the exercise, it is important to consume carbohydrates and proteins so that your muscles can compensate for the glycogen lost during exercise and remain healthy. After an intense workout, it is recommended to eat a proper and sufficient meal within an hour to help rebuild and repair muscles. Here are some examples of good post-workout meals:
Low-fat milkshake made with fruit and milk.
Chocolate milk with low fat.
Turkey and vegetables on a whole wheat sandwich.
Slices of banana and raisins on raisin bread.
Hummus and whole grain bread.
Honey and walnuts in Greek yogurt.
Kefir with flavor, also known as kefir.
Figs and cheese cereal biscuits.
Served with toast and fruit, two eggs and two pieces of toast.
Is there a right time for athletes to eat?
To maintain blood glucose levels during exercise, maximize exercise performance, and improve recovery time, adequate food and fluid intake should be consumed before, during, and after exercise.
Before exercising, you should eat:
Whether to eat a snack before exercise depends on how the body tolerates it. About 30-60 minutes before training, choose easily digestible carbohydrate sources with a small amount of protein.
If you eat a large meal, you should wait about four hours before exercising, and if you eat a medium meal, you should wait about two hours before exercising. Exercise can be started about two hours after waking up.
After exercise, you should eat:
You should eat within 15 to 30 minutes after exercising because the meal should contain protein for muscle regeneration, carbohydrates for glycogen replenishment, and calories for energy replenishment. Following a workout, it is recommended to eat within 60 minutes.
The right time to drink water for athletes:
For maximum benefit from exercise and to feel great during exercise, it is recommended that you drink fluids throughout the day before exercising so that you get enough water to start your exercise:
One to two hours before exercising, drink 440-590 ml of water.
15 minutes before starting the workout, drink 236-295 ml of water.
During exercise, drink 236 ml of water every 15 minutes.
After exercising, drink 236 ml of water within 30 minutes.
Exercise in very hot weather can increase the body’s need for water, so athletes may want to measure the amount of fluid lost during exercise to determine their specific needs. It is recommended to drink 709-473 ml of water for every 0.45 kg of weight loss.
Is it important for athletes to take nutritional supplements?
A balanced diet provides the nutrients and energy required for exercise without the need for supplements. Meanwhile, protein shakes are helpful to those who do not consume enough protein through their regular diet.
Consuming protein shakes should avoid those containing excessive amounts of added sugar, which may not be compatible with nutritional needs, and a doctor or nutritionist should be consulted when choosing nutrition.
Correct exercise depends on the following factors:
Having a healthy breakfast: if you exercise, waking up early in the morning is recommended so that you will have enough time to eat breakfast at least one hour before exercising. Exercise causes you to feel dizzy or sluggish, and if you don’t eat, you may feel sluggish.
A large amount of food before exercise can cause feeling lethargic, while eating very little food may not have enough energy to continue exercising. Generally speaking, pre-workout intake should not be overdone at this point, as the following guidelines indicate:
Three to four hours before exercising, eat a large meal.
One to three hours before exercising, eat a small or light meal.
Drinking enough water can significantly affect exercise performance, since the body needs to be well hydrated before starting any exercise, which means drinking water regularly throughout the day and choosing the right drink based on the intensity. For moderate exercise less than an hour, water is required, isotonic sports drinks, milk, or a mixture of carbohydrate-rich foods with water are recommended for intense exercise more than an hour.
For maintaining body health during exercise, consider the following tips:
Warm up properly for 5-10 minutes.
If you exercise regularly, frequently, and at high intensity, start slowly and gradually increase your activity level.
It is important to mix up your exercises, vary your levels of intensity, and get enough rest, because intense exercise can result in stress fractures, stiffness, and inflammation of joints and muscles, as well as inflammation of ligaments and tendons. Erosion may occur as a result of some types of exercise.
Do not exercise if you are sick, feel extremely tired, faint after exercise, tired throughout the day, or have persistent joint pain after exercise.