Any physical activity must be complimented with a nutritious eating plan. Food gives us energy which is used as fuel when we exercise. The quality of our exercise session depends upon our diet plan. Hence, a balance of the right amount of carbohydrates (65%), proteins (15%), fats (20%), vitamins and minerals should be derived from a variety of healthful food items. One should ideally eat small portion meals 5-6 times a day with a gap of 2-3 hours in between each meal. This will keep you high in energy throughout the day.
Sources of carbohydrates
- Whole grains.
- Whole grain cereals and breads.
- Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables (Green and Yellow)
- Brown rice.
- Whole wheat pasta.
Sources of proteins
- Low fat dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese, curd, buttermilk.
- Soymilk and Tofu (Soy paneer).
- Fish (Tuna, Salmon), Lean Meats and chicken.
- Nuts (Almonds and Walnuts) in moderation.
Sources of good fats
(Omega 3 fatty acids – essential fatty acids required by the body) are:
- Fish / fish oil.
- Olive oil.
- Flaxseed / flaxseed oil.
All these food items will give you all the required vitamins and minerals.
There are certain food rules to follow before any physical activity. They are
- Avoid foods such as milk, cheese and ice cream just before your workout as they contain lactose, a milk sugar, which many people are unable to digest easily. This may create discomfort while exercising and lead to stomach cramps.
- Avoid beans and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage as they have the tendency to produce gas which will again be uncomfortable for the activity.
- Do not eat hard to digest proteins and fats just before exercising as they may take longer to get absorbed into your system and interrupt into your exercise session. Most of the blood supply will shift to the gastrointestinal tract for digestion rather than to the working muscles supporting physical activity.
- Watch your meal timings. There should be a gap of three hours between a big meal and exercising. Eat dinner two hours before going to bed always in case you plan to exercise next day early morning and always try to clear your system before any physical activity.
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