When embarking on any kind of exercise regime, it’s important to think about your diet. Nutrition plays a key part in the functioning of our bodies so eating the right type of foods at the right times is vital for the success of your workout. Making the right decisions can seem daunting, but it really needn’t be! Caitlin who blogs over at poleista.co.uk shares some ideas and guidance to ensure that you’re fuelling your exercise correctly.
Drink plenty of water
It’s difficult to stress just how important water is! Dehydration can really hinder your performance during a workout, and in extreme cases, can even be dangerous to your health. You may not necessarily feel thirsty straight away if you are suffering from dehydration, but it’s easy to detect by checking the colour of your urine. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. Obviously, people differ in body size and the type and intensity of the exercise they do. This makes it difficult to offer advice on exactly how much water you should drink, but it’s safe to say that you need to consider your water consumption before, during and after your workout. Finding out exactly how much works for you will ensure that you’re getting the most from your sessions. If you find it difficult to keep track of your water intake, why not keep a drinking diary? A written record can help you assess what you need.
Before your workout
While it’s not wise to exercise on a full stomach, remember that you do need some sort of fuel for your workout. By eating a meal 2-4 hours before taking part in your chosen activity, you’ll be sure to have plenty of energy to be able to put your all into it! Do choose foods which you enjoy, as exercise and nutrition don’t have to be about depriving yourself. Meals which offer a slow release of energy are great choices. You could have a jacket potato with baked beans or cottage cheese, rice with vegetables and lean meat or pasta with sauce.
After your workout
You may feel cautious about eating after your workout as you won’t want to undo all of your hard work, but replenishing your body is very important. Making the right choices will help to ensure that any damaged tissue is repaired and will sustain you for the rest of the day. The ideal choice here would include some carbohydrates and protein. Try not to fall into the trap of believing that you need to eat everything in sight because you’ve earned it. Listen to your body. It will let you know how much you really need.
Make snacking a part of your routine
You should aim to have a small snack around one hour before you workout. A piece of fruit, a yoghurt or a cereal bar would be ideal. This can give you that much needed boost and is especially important for high intensity workout sessions.
Once you establish a routine that works for you, you’ll find that paying careful attention to what you eat can really have a positive impact on your workout.
Caitlin is a fitness nut who loves a varied work out. She blogs over at poleista.co.uk and you can also find her at facebook.com/poleista