We have all heard the old saying ‘you can’t out train a bad diet’. With the abundance of fast food takeaways and easy microwavable meals to go that are full of sugar, salt and ‘bad’ fats it makes this saying even more relevant. But within recent years, it seems that there has been a shift in thought in todays society and more people are realising the fact that to become more healthy, get in better shape and simply have a greater sense of well-being that changing their eating habits and focusing on good nutritional food, allows these goals to be obtainable.
When discussing nutrition there are 3 main macro nutrients that you should incorporate into your diet to benefit from having a healthier lifestyle.
These macro nutrients will provide your body with the much-needed energy, support and recovery when training in any high intensity environment.
Amino acids from protein provide the building blocks for developing new muscle tissues and the repair of body cells so that you can recover quicker and train more frequently. When training, your muscles go through a cycle of breaking down to compensate for the lack of energy within the body during intense exercise. Now, protein does provide a small fuel source to the muscles when training so when glucose (energy) levels are depleted within the blood, extra protein must then be consumed to help build new muscle cells and hence the recovery process can begin.
Timing is a big factor when it comes to consuming protein. The body can only absorb such much protein in one sitting, so make sure to distribute your protein intake throughout the day.
Best protein sources are:
- Chicken breasts
- Lean beef
For a sedentary person, consuming between 0.75g-1g of protein per kg of body weight is recommended.
For a more active person, between 1.2-1.7g of protein per kg of body weight would be recommended.
Try to consume between 20-25g with each meal so that the body can fully absorb the macro nutrient so that you will get the full benefit of it.
Carbohydrates are very important to help fuel the body for exercise. If carbohydrate intake is low, you will feel very sluggish and tired and this can have quite an impact on your training. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver and muscles and are broken down and converted to glycogen. When training, once blood glucose levels have dipped, the liver will release more glucose into the blood to allow you to continue on.
The Best carbohydrate foods are:
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Wholewheat bread
- Vegetables – all of them
- Seeds eg. pumpkin seeds, chia seeds
- Nuts eg. almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts
Depending on how often you train and the intensity of the training, your carbohydrate intake must reflect it. Basically the more active you are, the more carbohydrates you need to consume.
For a sedentary person, it is recommended to consume between 3-5g per kg of body weight daily.
For a more active person, it is recommended to consume somewhere between 5-12g per kg of body weight daily.
When people tend to think of fats, they believe that its bad for the diet and will only add extra inches on the waistline. Part of if this is correct, but what it comes down to is the type of fat that your are consuming, there are good fats and bad fats. Fat is an essential macro nutrient for the body in order to cushion your organs and it also makes up part of the structure within cell membranes. There are number of foods that provide essential fatty acids and vitamins such as vitamin A, D and E.
Trans fats or ‘bad’ fats should be avoided within your diet if possible. These include:
- anything fried or battered
Saturated fats should be limited within your diet such as:
- Heavy cream
- Fatty meats eg pork, lamb
Unsaturated fats should be encouraged and consumed on a daily basis such as:
- Omega 3
- Sunflower seeds
- Canola Oil
Omega 3 is an excellent source which can be obtained in many foods but can also be purchased in capsules. It helps to deliver oxygen to the muscles, speeds up recovery, reduce inflammation and can help improve endurance.
Vitamins & Minerals
The more intense you’re training, the greater need there is for vitamins and minerals. If you are eating a balanced diet and sticking to the main foods groups discussed above there is not necessarily any need for further supplementation. The foods suggested will certainly provide the much-needed vitamins and minerals you need to train as long as you are eating enough within your goals.
When training you must make sure that you are well hydrated before, during and after. Severe dehydration can result in reduced strength and endurance and make every lift or sprint harder than it should be.
Caution is also advised for over hydrating, the more water you drink, the more diluted your blood will become and will result in sodium levels to drop. To re-establish normal hydration, both sodium and water need to replaced and this can be obtained by normal and drinking throughout the day.
So in overall, making sure to have a balanced and nutritious diet will certainly keep you in shape, to keep performing at your best ability and allow you to recover quicker after every training session.
Musclefood are a food nutrition based company in the UK that provide premium lean meats, a variety of fruit and vegetables and other sports nutrition items. They have a wide selection for you to choose from and you can pick and choose your favourite foods items.
Musclefood also provide bundle packages that contain a mix of different lean meats and vegetables that are very reasonably priced and always have deals on. They deliver all over the UK and your order can be with you in a matter of days. The boxes they deliver the food items in are very well packaged and chilled to maintain the freshness of the food items.
The reason I am suggesting Musclefood as I purchase from them myself personally and cannot fault them for the service and food they provide. Not only do I get A grade quality food delivered to my door but it also saves me a fortune compared to buying in the local supermarket or butchers.
Any questions please feel free to leave a comment below