Exercise offers great for healthy living. From averting risks of diseases like diabetes, hypertension to curbing the risks of developing conditions like obesity, its benefits are aplenty.
Moreover, exercise is a great way to fortify the mind as well. It helps to counter high-stress levels and prevents mental diseases like depression and anxiety. Hence, exercise is, without a doubt, amazing for the body.
However, on the flip side, if one does not do the exercise well, the side-effects are plentiful too. Other than the more obvious danger of injury, exercise also can conversely stress out the body and lead to muscle damage and fatigue.
Therefore, not just exercising is important, but equally significant is your approach to exercise, especially when doing high-intensity workout. Alongside catering to your physical stamina, it is very vital to eat well too.
People pursuing professional careers or who are very serious about their exercise routine
should ideally contact the best nutritionist in Islamabad for a customized meal regimen.
Others exercising for merely health reasons just need to know the basic principles.
How is diet linked to my workouts?
What you eat after you work out has immense importance for not just the healing of the body, but also performance as well. When you exercise, you deplete the glycogen reserves in the body. These reserves need to be replenished for resorting the energy levels.
Moreover, the rigorous exercise also leads to muscle breakdown as well. The idea essentially is to break the weaker muscles and build newer, lean muscles. However, this is only possible if the body has enough raw material to build the muscle. And this is where diet comes in!
Oral consumption of protein is vital hence to address the muscle depletion. This has to be post exercise, when the body is in the hypervigilant recovery mode, trying to fix the wear and tear sustained in the work out.
Moreover, this also leads to decreased recovery time and soreness in the muscles. Hence, without this protein synthesis, body is just run short of the muscle, and there is no building it.
But why post-workout?
When you eat is just as important as what you eat. There is a window of opportunity just after exercise whereby the body will best process the nutrients consumed. Exercise improves the absorption of proteins and glycogen in the body. It is vital hence to make use of this opportunity in the brief post-workout high the body is under.
After the first hour of exercise, muscle glycogen is rapidly taken up by the body, to refill the reserves that got depleted. This is because of the signaling proteins that get released by the contraction of the skeletal muscles. However, when the muscles relax, this process is taken over by other factors that allow for rather slow glycogen replenishment.
Therefore, time is of the essence; the first 45-60 minutes after you exercise are critical undo the stress that the body underwent with exercise.
What are the dangers of improper nutrition when exercising?
Immediate nutrient intake is extremely important for recovery. Just as you would put a band-aid on a bleeding wound, the dietary intake post work-out is the balm to the wounds. And it not just heals but, heals faster as well.
Moreover, rigorous exercise involves breaking weak muscle to build leaner ones. However, building is only possible when the body has sufficient nutrients present. Hence, people who do not cater to the nutritional requirements of the body do not see much progress after working out, which many even demotivate them into leaving exercise.
Also, naturally when your muscle glycogen is used up and not replenish, you cannot work out well. Some people might not have energy to exercise, period.
What should I eat then?
For building the muscles, it is important to take in protein right after exercise. It will help in protein synthesize and thus aid in maintaining the fine balance of protein breakdown and buildup, known as muscle hypertrophy.
Good sources of protein include eggs, yogurt, cheese, chicken or well, protein bar.
Glucose is the source of energy for the body and is required for high intensity workouts. Body uses the glycogen reserves to synthesize glucose to keep the body going during exercise. It is very important thus to fill up the muscle glycogen reserves that got used up.
Carbohydrates can be thus taken up by eating fruits, bread, rice, potatoes, chocolate, candy etc.
According to research, omega 3 fatty acids also help with the synthesize of muscle protein. It also is beneficial in the reducing post work out soreness as well.
Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids include fatty fish, avocados, nuts etc.
Exercise involves sweating, especially when its high intensity and outdoors. It causes body to lose water and electrolytes. It is thus vital to hydrate well, before and after work out. An electrolyte drink is perfect as it fixes water and electrolyte intake, both.
Eating before and after exercise is vital. For optimal performance, better health and building muscle, it is important to eat protein, carbohydrates and good fats immediately after exercise.
Professional or aspiring athletes should in fact visit the top nutritionist in Lahore to get meal plan for optimal performance.