In this issue we will focus on the diet of people who exercise, without entering into considerations about diet and exercise as a highlight for people who want to lose weight.
Performing physical exercise and the corresponding diet continues to be a hot topic, as the debate continues on whether the normal diet should be modified to improve performance during muscle work that involves sports, whether amateur or professional.
The influence presumably exercised by the athlete’s dietary habits on his physical performance has been so preoccupied that the real importance of diet in sport has been exaggerated, which has led to the emergence of certain beliefs with which even the Food according to “what” they will serve: whether they will increase muscle mass or endurance, whether we will get a better reaction for the exits, etc.
You have to start from the base where food provides the energy needed to exercise. Therefore, adequate food intake will provide what we need for optimal performance and recovery. For this reason it is necessary to avoid falling into a diet deficient in nutrients that are necessary for the conservation of the general state, taking other nutrients that do not contribute the real necessities, only by leaning toward foods that are supposed to develop the muscular volume, improve the yield, etc. This is one of the main reasons for the following sections in relation to physical exercise and diet.
The diet should be very varied
The routine should be avoided and daily include each of the basic food groups: fruits and vegetables, meats and fish, dairy and eggs, cereals, legumes and tubers and fatty foods. All this, with the balance reference. Along with this, avoid as far as possible industrialized foods, canned and prepared.
The caloric intake is depending on the level of activity. The ingestion of calories will be adjusted to the energy expenditure, avoiding the excessive consumption of fatty foods and, with it, the obesity.
Balance in proteins
Proteins will be provided in a balanced way between essential and non-essential amino acids, mostly trying to be of animal origin, being of greater biological value than those of plant origin.
Refined sugars should be decreased, increasing the consumption of complex carbohydrates. Likewise, the amount of dietary fiber must be increased. All this is obtained by increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, cereals and fruits and, diminishing the sweets, drinks of sweet taste and the baked ones. Recall that consuming foods rich in sugars prior to exercise can have a very negative effect on our health, because of the risk of hypoglycemia in the blood at times when an excess of glucose is needed.
The ingestion of salt will be moderate: between one and four grams daily.
The water will be supplied in greater quantity, since the exercise carries with it a significant loss of liquids. From three to five liters a day is the reasonable figure, considering that half of this contribution comes with food, so we really should “drink” two to three liters. Not to insist on this, but this article should be used to point out that water is the best liquid before a rehydration: therefore, you have to drink properly before, during and after exercise, without needing to feel thirsty .
It is also advisable to control excessive consumption of alcohol, because of its negative effect on physical ability as well as its contribution in calories.
The diet of the athlete, thinking both professionals and people who practice physical exercise frequently to maintain a good state of health, must follow some general rules:
Actually, it is as simple as indicating that the diet before any exercise program should be the same as maintaining a good level of health in the long term, based on complex carbohydrates (bread, whole grains and rice, potatoes, cereals) , Fruit and vegetables, legumes, fish, nuts, fresh low-fat products, use of olive oil instead of butter and reduction of red meat and pastries, sweets and the like.
All of this is detailed with the advice listed below.
- Be suitable for the person who consumes it
- Bring in enough energy.
- Be complete in its chemical composition and balanced in its components.
- Finally, it is advised that foods are easy to digest, avoiding copious meals and “heaviness” of the stomach, so that the work of this organ is the least possible before performing physical activity.
We can take into account, with everything indicated, that when performing, for example aerobic type exercises, such as walking or running, energy is obtained by burning fat and a certain amount of glycogen, which is how carbohydrates are “Store” in the liver and in the muscles. But glycogen is kept with a limited reserve, and when it runs out, we start to fatigue. Anaerobic exercises (for example, sprinters in athletics) burn a lot more glycogen: when we exercise more intensely, we consume more glycogen and therefore, it will take more time to replenish it in their reserves.
But if a good physical condition is maintained, more energy from fat is consumed than from glycogen and, in addition, glycogen stores are replenished more easily than people who do not exercise, or who have just started in their practice.