Training Foods & How To Eat Healthy For Energy
The first thing you should do is to get your body in the best shape it can be. This means eating well so that your body is in top condition to make training easy, enjoyable and stock you up with high energy levels. Here are our top tips to get your eating plan in perfect shape:
Fruit and veg power
How many serves a day are you currently eating? The recommended amount for an adult is 2 serves of fruit and 5 vegetables. According to Nutrition Australia, fruits and vegetables should be making up a large portion of your diet and feature at the bottom of The Healthy Living Pyramid. Fruit and veggies are great for many reasons including digestion, growth and repair, immunity against disease, providing anti-cancer vitamins, strong teeth and bones, healthy ageing and promote good heart health. On top of this, fruit and veggies are packed with fibre and so act as a broom to sweep out any waste in your system. Exercise can take a toll on the body, so we need extra vitamins and minerals to help the body repair itself while training.
Water, water, water
The body is 70% water, so to be in peak condition it’s a good idea to drink 8 glasses of water a day. The benefits of drinking water include being great for the skin, helps to build muscle, impacts on nerves sending messages around the body and what’s more aids in losing weight as drinking water suppresses your appetite. Water benefits muscle building by carrying oxygen to cells in the body, allowing the muscles to work harder. Water also helps the body’s electrolytes to communicate nerve messages from the brain, keeping the body coordinated and functioning optimally. For fast absorption, drink water at room temperature rather than chilled while training.
Go for low G.I. foods
The glycaemic index (GI) is a ranking system, which gives food a score out of 100 for the effect that it has on your blood glucose levels. Foods with a high G.I. score give a rush of glycogen to the body after eating, potentially causing damage to the heart and arteries. Eating foods with a low score will ensure a steady flow of energy to the body and also will minimise damage to the heart and blood flow. When training for a running event, it is a good idea to eat foods with a low GI score to ensure you are stocked with long lasting energy.
Eat more proteins
The body’s muscles are made of protein and in order to have them working at their peak, it’s beneficial to eat a diet rich with protein. Foods such as lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and lentils provide good sources of protein. If you are a vegetarian, make sure you are getting enough protein from alternative sources to meat. It’s recommended to have a balanced diet with natural protein sources and to use powders and protein shakes as supplements on top of this if needed.
Cut down on the booze
Alcohol depletes the body of vitamins, salts, minerals, can make us feel lethargic, tired and is dehydrating. Have a few alcohol free days a week and if you are planning to train on particular days, don’t drink alcohol the night before. Did you know that alcohol disrupts the brain’s communication pathways and can affect you coordination long term? Whilst drinking in moderation is fine, it can be a good idea to have a quiet and early night the day before a training session.
Eat smaller meals more often
The best way to increase your metabolic rate is eat smaller meals more often. It can be a good start to the day by having a healthy breakfast, followed by a moderately sized lunch and dinner but with some healthy snacks in between in the morning and afternoon. This will keep your energy levels high throughout the day and your metabolism ticking over, improving digestion and making sure you get all the nutritional benefits from the food you are eating. If you are going for a run, have a snack or small meal about an hour before you leave to boost your energy levels.