It is common knowledge that nutrition and exercise are the essential elements for good health. But it is also important to remember that you need the right type of nutrition and hydration before, during and after exercise
Nutrition, Hydration Basics
When you exercise, your body uses the food you eat into energy. It also uses water and other fluids you drink to transport nutrients, eliminate toxins and waste, and regulate body temperature. Eating the wrong kinds of food will deprive the body of vitamins and other nutrients it needs to perform well. Without proper hydration, the body temperature rises to dangerous levels, which results in heat illness.
According to exercise physiologist Richard Weil, a loss of 1 percent to 2 percent of body weight can begin to affect the cardiovascular and muscle function and performance. The heart rate may increase up to three to five beats per minute for each percentage of body weight loss.
Therefore, proper nutrition and hydration is very important for training.
Eat larger meals three to four hours before exercise. A smaller amount (such as bananas, bagels or fruit) can be eaten one to two hours before exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic. Carbohydrates, such as whole grain breads and fruit, providing glucose to the muscles to improve performance.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends drinking 17 to 20 grams (about 500-600 ml) of water two hours before exercise.
Drink a cup of water (8 grams) every 20 minutes of exercise to replace the water lost through sweat. If exercise is very intense and lasts more than 1˝ hours, eat a sports drink or a sports drink like Gatorade to replace carbohydrates burned by exercise. Do not drink beverages containing alcohol or caffeine because these promote dehydration.
Muscle cramps or spasms, headache, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, nausea, fatigue and enlarged pupils each character to heat-related illness. If these symptoms occur, stop the activity, drink some water and seek medical attention if necessary.
ACE recommends drinking at least eight grams of water after exercise and 16 24 grams of water for every kilogram of body weight lost during exercise. The Mayo Clinic recommends eating a meal of protein and carbohydrates within two hours after exercise to help your muscles recover and replace glycogen stores.
At meals, concentrating on protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and added sugar, fat and salt.
If you are on a special diet for health reasons, such as diabetes or heart disease, you should consult a doctor or nutritionist before changing your diet.
Keep a water bottle handy to remind you to drink.
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