It’s hard to believe, but great physical activity is not at all a reason to give up the good old fats and carbohydrates in favor of protein foods. On the contrary, this is a reason to seriously revise your diet, diversifying it as much as possible. And add healthy and correct foods to it. Those that will not only be able to give strength and energy, but will also allow you to do more and, as a result, reach athletic heights faster.
How to plan a diet for high physical activity
Proper nutrition allows an athlete to gain muscle mass and burn fat while remaining physically healthy and resilient. That is why his diet must be balanced and contain proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the right quantities. After all, each of these macronutrients performs a specific function, namely:
- 1 Proteins – These form the basis of all diets, including those for athletes. Simply because they are a building block for our body and, like water, are present in almost all of its tissues, including bone, muscle and connective tissue, and even in the blood. However, their share in the daily diet should be no more than 15-20%, otherwise muscle hypertrophy (an increase in muscle mass due to an increase in the area and size of muscle fibers, and not their length) cannot be avoided. The best sources of protein are considered to be chicken breast, turkey, tuna, salmon, egg white, legumes, and low-calorie cottage cheese.
- 2 Carbohydrates are substances from which the body draws energy. It is thanks to them that endurance and endurance appear. It happens as follows: as a result of complex biochemical reactions, carbohydrates are converted into glycogen. This is a kind of energy reserve that is accumulated in the muscles in order to be released during the next workout and strenuous muscular work, allowing a person to work out more intensively. Interestingly, the more he trains, the more glycogen his muscles store. In the athlete’s diet, carbohydrates should make up 55-60% of the total food mass. You can get them by eating herbal foods – cereals or cereals.
- 3 Fat – provides the body with additional energy and prevents the development of cardiovascular disease. They are found mainly in vegetable oils – olive or sunflower, as well as fish oil, nuts and seeds.
Vitamins and trace elements
In addition to macronutrients, athletes need vitamins and microelements. Moreover, according to the representative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Kelly L. Pritchett, “during moderate to intense exercise, the loss of some minerals increases, mainly through sweat.” Therefore, the body needs to accumulate them all the time. These are the following substances:
- Vitamins of group B. The first sign of their deficiency is a lack of strength for the last call. This is explained by the fact that it is with their help that our body converts protein and sugar into energy and synthesizes red blood cells. The data is confirmed by research results. These substances are found in tuna, legumes and nuts.
- Calcium – along with vitamin D, potassium and protein, this trace mineral is responsible for bone density as well as skeletal strength. It is found in dairy foods, dark green leafy vegetables and legumes.
- Vitamin C – not many people know that it can not only increase immunity, but also prevent shortness of breath during and after exercise. This is confirmed by the results of research conducted at the University of Helsinki in Finland. It is found in citrus fruits, rose hips, bell peppers, strawberries and cabbage.
- Vitamin D – improves mood and strength. And these are not just words, but the results of research conducted at the British University of Newcastle under the leadership of Akash Xinyi. The mechanism of its action is simple: vitamin D helps to activate the work of mitochondria, which are in muscle fibers. As a result, muscle tone increases and the person feels more active. You can replenish the reserves of this vitamin by basking in the sun or eating dairy foods, fish and egg yolk.
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that enhances immunity and protects against many diseases. Contained in seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.
- Iron – without it, the muscles will not be able to work at full strength. Simply because they do not receive enough oxygen, which is carried by erythrocytes, which are synthesized just with its help. In addition, iron deficiency leads to anemia and, as a result, increased fatigue and fatigue. This trace mineral is found in beef, spinach, eggs, cabbage and green apples.
- Magnesium – It increases bone density, thereby protecting the athlete from fractures during intense training. In addition, according to Kelly Pritchett, “magnesium activates over 300 enzymes involved in energy metabolism.” They are rich in dark green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts.
- Potassium is an essential trace element that ensures the functioning of the nervous and muscular systems and is found in bananas. That is why the latter is preferred by athletes after long-distance races. Just to relieve muscle aches and cramps in the calf muscles.
Top 17 foods for heavy physical activity
In order not to overload the body and be always in great shape, you need to eat fractionally, but often. Ideally, there should be 5-6 meals a day and a maximum of healthy foods and drinks in the diet. There are only 17 of them:
Water – you need to drink it not only before or after, but also during training. Simply because it improves performance and prevents injury. The amount of water you drink depends on their duration and intensity. In some cases, it is helpful to drink sports drinks.
Eggs are a source of protein and vitamin D.
Orange juice – it contains not only vitamin C, but also potassium – one of the most important electrolytes responsible for water balance and helping to replenish the lack of fluid in the body after exercise.
Kefir is a source of beneficial bacteria and proteins that are essential for muscle growth. Regular use of kefir helps to cleanse the body and get rid of excess weight. You can improve its taste with oatmeal or fruit.
Bananas are a source of carbohydrates that help restore glycogen levels and potassium.
Salmon is a source of anti-inflammatory protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The product allows not only to increase muscle mass, but also to improve training performance.
Nuts and dried fruits are an ideal snack with carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals in their composition. Allows you to quickly restore strength and build muscle mass.
Blueberries are a source of antioxidants that can triple the rate of recovery after intense workouts.
Pineapple is a source of bromelain, a substance that has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes the early treatment of dislocations, bruises and edema. In addition, it contains vitamin C, which is essential for rapid tissue repair.
Kiwi is a source of vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium, which can effectively fight muscle soreness after exercise.
Oatmeal is a treasure trove of nutrients and complex carbohydrates that provide optimal blood sugar levels and energize for new achievements.
Believe it or not, caffeine can increase endurance and reduce muscle soreness during and after intense workouts, as evidenced by research conducted in 2009 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The main thing is not to abuse it.
Oysters – They enrich the body with zinc and iron and, as a result, provide the energy needed for intense workouts.
Ginger – It contains unique substances that have anti-inflammatory properties and effectively relieve muscle pain.
Tomato juice – athletes call it an analogue of sports drinks due to the content of sodium and potassium, which replenishes fluid loss.
Dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70% – in moderate quantities, it tones up and effectively relieves muscle pain.
Honey is a unique cocktail of vitamins and minerals.
What is better to refuse with heavy physical exertion
- From fast food and foods high in simple carbohydrates as they raise blood sugar levels.
- From excessively fatty and salty foods – they increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, stimulate appetite and lead to overeating.
- From starchy foods and sweets – they contain simple carbohydrates and raise blood sugar levels.
- From alcohol and smoking.
According to experts, the secret of the success of any workout is not only in the quality and quantity of food eaten, but also in the time of eating. Therefore, eat cereals and fruit salads before workouts, and protein foods after. And drink plenty of fluids all the time. And you will be happy!