We've covered the importance of water and staying hydrated throughout your workouts, yet another facet of getting the right fuel for your workout is what you eat before and after your physical activity. Making sure you have the right fuel will energize you for a great workout and keep your heart healthy!
1. All about timing
To keep up your energy for exercising, it's important to consider when you are feeling your body. Exercising one to three hours after having a meal, or having a snack one to two hours before being active is recommended.
2. Turning food into fuel
We've talked about needing food, but are you aware of which foods will fuel you in protein, energy, and help keep your body moving? Vegetables, fruits, grain products, milk and milk alternatives all have carbohydrates, which provide energy for your workout. Milk and milk alternatives, meat, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds provide the protein we need to build and repair muscles. Keep in mind that a wide variety of foods also provide vitamins and minerals we need to build strong bones and muscles while also fighting off infections.
3. The Fibonacci ratio of food
Is your meal representative of the balanced plate recommended by the Canadian Food Guide? The basic equation for assuring that you're getting the fuel that your body needs is 50% vegetables/fruits, 25% whole grains and 25% lean protein. That being said, depending on how active you are, the portions might change. Individuals who are extremely active will require more carbohydrates for fuel and more protein for muscle growth and repair.
4. Lacking luster
When you don't get enough calories from carbohydrates, fat and protein, your performance may not be the best it could be. The right amount of calories will provide you with results from your training and limit the loss of muscle tissue, strength and endurance. To find the ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats for your body and your activity level, please visit the Canadian Food Guide!