It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
March is National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education and information campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The 2015 theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which promotes the consumption of fewer calories, informed food decisions, and daily exercise for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, reducing risks of chronic diseases and promoting overall wellness.
Whether a person is new to physical fitness activities or a pro, nutrition can seem complicated. Many nutritionists create intense and detailed food regimens for their clients, but a solid nutrition program can be simple and still very beneficial. For those wanting the most from a diet and fitness routine, the following tips may help:
- Daily balanced diet. For consistent performance at the gym or with a sport, the body needs a regular supply of quality energy for the muscles. A few daily essentials for meeting the body’s needs include: a balanced breakfast; carbohydrates for fuel; and proteins and fats appropriate for a person’s individual body-type and fitness goals.
- Day of the workout. For those tackling a workout first thing in the morning, be sure to have a light breakfast like fruit, toast, and/or an egg. For those who workout in the evenings, have a lunch that easily digestible but includes complex carbs. Pasta, fruits, vegetables or a salad with lean meat (chicken or fish) are good examples.
- Immediately prior to workout. About 30 minutes before an intense workout, eat a light to moderate snack and drink some water. The amount of food a person should ingest depends on the length and intensity of their upcoming workout. Longer, harder activities may require the individual to eat an energy bar or large banana.
- During workout. Necessary hydration varies from person to person, but a good rule of thumb is to intake 8 to 10 fl oz of water every 15 minutes while exercising. For those working out longer than 90 minutes, carbohydrates will likely need to be replenished as well, making a sports drink more of an ideal choice.
- Post-workout hydration. After a workout, water needs to be replaced in the body according to how much a person has sweated. The more perspiration, the more hydration required. To be absolutely precise, check body weight before and after the physical activity. For every pound decrease, a person should drink about 3 cups of water.
- Post-workout food. Glycogen stores should be replenished within two hours after an intense workout. Research shows that a 4-to-1 ratio of carbs to proteins is the ideal post-workout nutrition combination. The nourishment can come in the form of solid food, a liquid shake, or a combination of the two.