How to fuel your body for exercise
Use these tips to achieve a balanced diet and get the most out of exercise!
Our diet is made up of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fats and water), and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Macronutrients provide your body with energy for exercise and carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source, but fat is also great for less intense exercise such as jogging. Protein helps to rebuild muscle tissue after exercise, aiding your recovery. Water is the fourth macronutrient; it makes up about 60% of an adult human body and is essential for us to live!
Healthy foods to include in your diet:
– Carbohydrates such as whole wheat pasta, rice, potatoes, chickpeas, quinoa and vegetables.
– Protein such as fish, eggs, chicken, tofu, yoghurt, legumes, beans, almonds and milk.
– Fat such as fatty fish, avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
10 tips to fuel your body for exercise:
- Aim to include a high quality source of carbohydrates, protein and fat in all three of your meals.
- Eat a high carbohydrate meal before exercising for energy, and a high protein meal post exercise for muscle growth and recovery (both meals should ideally be within a window of 2-3 hours).
- Consume five fruit or vegetables a day, they are an amazing source of vitamins and minerals.
- Try to limit your consumption of highly processed foods (cakes, biscuits, butter), they will negatively impact your overall health and exercise performance.
- Drink at least 2 litres of water every day and increase this when you exercise to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid alcohol and fizzy drinks where possible, especially in close proximity to exercise.
- If you love tea or coffee, drink one around 45 minutes before exercising for an extra boost, just be careful not to consume caffeine in excess, or too late in the day.
- Structure your meals around stable foods (e.g. wholegrain rice as a carbohydrate base) and add different meat, fish or vegetables for variety.
- Don’t worry about supplements, a balanced diet is enough to support regular exercise, supplements are an optional tool (usually used by elite athletes) to achieve high performance goals.
- Use our recipe section for meal inspiration, there are amazing healthy dishes from around the world to try and enjoy!