Why Nutrition is Important for Fitness
Whether you’re trying to drop a few pounds or build up some muscle, one thing is for sure: nutrition plays a major role in your overall fitness. What you eat plays a major part not only in how you look but how you feel and without the right nutrition you’ll have a hard time reaching your health and fitness goals. So, what aspects of nutrition can make or break your fitness? We’re here to help you figure that out!
Carbs: Good or Bad?
We’ve all heard about low- or no-carb diets, like Keto or Atkins, but eliminating carbs from your diet may not be ideal for overall fitness. Carbohydrates come from both starches and sugars and provide your muscles with the energy needed to get moving. They also act as a fuel for your muscles and help to keep them healthy and strong even after your workout is done. The key is eating the right kind of carbohydrates. Yes, there are plenty of junk foods out there that can provide you with your daily intake of carbs, but you’ll also be upping your intake of bad fats, sodium and more. Instead look for foods that contain complex carbs, like fruits and veggies, beans and whole grain breads. These foods contain unrefined carbs, leading to slower digestion. This helps you feel fuller for longer and helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Fruits and Veggies Are a Must
Everyone knows that fruits and veggies are good for your body, and they are a critical part of being physically fit. They provide many of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for your body to function at peak performance during exercise. Not only are they good for you, but most fruits and veggies are low in both calories and fat making them great choices when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet. If you’re not so adventurous in the produce aisle, you should make an effort to select a new type of fruit or veggie each time you grocery shop. There are hundreds of varieties and you’re sure to find something you love. And remember, half of your plate should be filled with fruits or vegetables at every meal.
Don’t Forget Protein
From omnivores to vegans, everyone needs to consume protein for a healthy body. Protein is the primary component of muscle tissue and helps to not only build new muscle tissue but repair tissue damage from your workout. The average person needs to consume about 0.36 grams of protein per every pound of body weight, but if you exercise frequently you may need to consume more. Make sure you are choosing proteins that are low in trans and saturated fats. You’ll also want to avoid processed meats and limit your intake of red meat. Healthy choices for protein include poultry, fish, dairy, eggs and legumes like beans and lentils.
Always Stay Hydrated
Water is one of the most important nutrients that your body needs to be healthy. When exercising, your losing fluids through sweating and heavy breathing and replacing those fluids is critical. Staying properly hydrated keeps your heart rate from getting too high, helps regulate your body temperature and lubricates your joints, so be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workouts. On the nutrition side of things, water helps transport those healthy nutrients you’re eating, giving your body energy and keeping you healthy. To make sure you’re hydrated for a workout, try this schedule for drinking water: 16 ounces 2 hours before you work out, then another 8 ounces five to ten minutes before that workout. During your training, drink 8 to 10 ounces of water as needed. It may seem like a lot but keeping your body well hydrated can be the difference between feeling dizzy and lightheaded after a workout or feeling good and strong.
Overall, nutrition is imperative for your health and fitness. It’s important to keep in mind that no matter what food and drink choices you make, balance is key. If you feel like you’re struggling to make the right choices or just not getting the right nutrients, contact us. I can help you figure out what you’re lacking or what you need to cut out and help to hold you accountable for your health, fitness and nutrition goals.