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The Importance of Sports Nutrition

 

When you are taking regular exercise be it going to the gym or training for a marathon, it is vital that you are eating enough of the correct foods.

The key ingredient if you are doing a lot of cardiovascular work is carbohydrates. They provide glycogen that feeds that muscles and helps you to maintain high levels of energy throughout the training week. Protein is also key as this helps to repair the muscle tissue that gets broken down during training.  

  

At least 60% of your ingested calories must be carbohydrates and they should not be refined carbohydrates rather complex ones. These include brown rice, pasta and bread. 15% – 20% should be protein. A good measure is 1g – 1.2g of protein per kilo of body weight. The rest of your calories should be comprised of unsaturated fats. This may be a surprise but some levels of fats are essential for proper nutrition. This doesn’t mean a fatty kebab however! 

  

It is also important to ensure the correct levels of vitamins and minerals are ingested which should ideally come from your food but a multi vitamin supplement is a good alternative. 

  

Some excellent forms of carbohydrates include; 

  

Potatoes, beans, brown bread, brown pasta, brown rice and bananas. 

  

Some great forms of protein include; 

  

Lean meat (chicken, lean beef), Fish, tofu and dairy products. 

  

It is important to not just eat the right foods but eat them at the right times. This will help ensure optimum recovery times and maximum energy. Glycogen and fat are key sources of fuel during running. It is therefore key that your energy sources are high by eating carbohydrates throughout the day. A key time to re-fuel is straight after exercise with a mix of carbohydrates (for fuel) and protein (for building and sustaining muscle). 

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It is recommended not to eat more than 2 hours before exercise.

If you follow these tips, you will be sure to have lots of energy and perform at your peak along with developing a great looking body!

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