No matter what you get up to on a daily basis, in order to Be Ready you have to fuel yourself with the right nutrients. Good nutrition is essential to help you get the most out of your exercise or training sessions.
Fuels for Exercise
Carbohydrate and fat are the two main fuels for exercising muscles. Carbohydrate is stored in the body as glycogen, which is broken down into glucose during exercise to supply the working muscles with energy. Small amounts of fat in your diet are necessary; however, a high fat intake is generally not recommended for active people, as it increases the risk of increased body fat.
Tip: Base every meal around a carbohydrate-rich food, such as bread, breakfast cereal, potatoes, rice or pasta.
Protein for Muscles
Protein is necessary for growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissue. Muscle proteins are constantly being broken down and rebuilt. Therefore, we should ensure that there is a balance between protein intake and muscle breakdown. This balance is maintained by consuming protein-containing foods such as milk, cheese, meat and nuts.
Tip: Ensuring adequate and consistent protein intake over the whole day will ensure that protein is available when the muscles need it.
Fluids: Keep your Cool
During exercise, fluid loss from sweating can be very high, particularly in warm weather.
Tip: Drink 300-600ml in the 15 minutes prior to exercise. During exercise, the general recommendation is to drink 150-200ml every 10-15 minutes. After exercise, replace all fluid lost during your session.
Vitamins and Minerals
Active people need to make sure they consume adequate vitamins and minerals to meet the demands of exercise. These do not provide energy, but are needed in very small amounts to enable the body to function efficiently and effectively.
Tip: At least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will help ensure that your vitamin and mineral needs are met.
Source – INDI – Food for Sport