At 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, we focus a lot on healthy eating, particularly for those who want to lose weight. The saying that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet is true. Good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and definitely necessary for weight loss. However, healthy eating is also important to maximize your performance both in the gym and at work. It boosts both your mental and physical abilities. There are important reasons why nutrition and performance are so closely linked.
You’ll improve your athletic performance with the right type of nutrition.
If you’re an athlete or trying to build muscle, you need a diet that provides enough nutrition and energy to get you through training. It should have a variety of food with ample fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein/meat, to build and repair muscle tissue and repair cells. The diet should include enough fluid to replace the fluid lost during exercise and aid in the recovery process. Athletes need an adequate amount of calories to come from carbs and provide the energy the body needs for a success workout. They also need enough protein to repair muscle tissue. The recommended balance is that 55% of calories be in the form of carbohydrates, 15% in the form of protein and the balance from fat.
Poor nutrition can lead to multiple problems for athletes.
If you’re an athlete, you’re constantly challenging your body. What you eat affects the strength you have whether you’re performing, training or recovering from an event. It’s more than just what you eat that makes a difference, it’s the timing of food intake, too. The meals prior to a performance and after it are the most important to monitor.
Diet can affect your performance at work or school.
There are a lot of links to diet and mental health and mental acuity. If you’re short on vitamin B12, you’ll be fatigued with poor memory and sometimes depression. A diet high in vegetables and olive oil, such as the Mediterranean diet, provides protection against anxiety and depression. High sugar intake is linked to ADHD or hyperactivity and the inability to focus. Sugar highs and lows can take away from productivity, whether you’re a student or adult. Eating healthy can provide all the nutrients you need to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp.
- A snack high in carbs, low in fat and moderate in protein should be eaten one to three hours before an event. A snack right after a performance should have three parts of the calories from carbs to one part protein.
- Athletes that want to recover faster are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables that are anti-inflammatory. These include turmeric, fish oil and tart cherry juice.
- Drinking plenty of water is extremely important for both mental and physical acuity. Even mild dehydration can cause poor performance on the athletic field and for seniors, create confusion that is similar to dementia.
- Food that is good for both the body and the mind and will boost the performance of both include blueberries, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and nuts. A cup of coffee before working out can also improve the quality of your workout.
For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness