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Our body is like a vehicle, so we need to keep our engines up and running while we are performing any activity or working out. That means fueling up by eating the right foods and drinking the right fluids, in the right amounts at the right times.
We all know that what we eat is important for good health and staying energetic, but what about when do we eat? Does the timing of our meals impact performance and recovery? The answer is yes! The majority of our recovery depends upon the timing of our diet.
Food Is The Essential Fuel For Any Kind Of Performance
The exact composition of meals with regards to the macros (protein, carbohydrates and fat) varies from person to person, as you must take into consideration body type (ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph), type of activity/exercise, and intensity of it, overall duration and how much time is split between these sessions. With that being said, Proper nutrition can:
- Enhance performance
- Decrease injuries
- Improve recovery
- Enhance muscle power
- Increase reaction time
- Boost strength and endurance
First Things First- What To Eat?
The main purpose of eating beforehand is to provide your body with the necessary nutrients to sustain your energy level throughout the day so that you can achieve your daily performance goals.
Carb-rich foods and fluid helps ‘top off’ glycogen stores, while proteins can help to preserve muscle mass. A meal that has a combination of these macros is ideal. High-fat meals are generally not recommended early on in the day because fat slows digestion and leaves most people feeling sluggish.
Hydration is the ultimate key to achieving peak performance, It could be easily regarded as one of the most important tools in our nutritional arsenal. When we are unable to consume enough liquid, our muscles will fatigue much quicker, our coordination will decrease, and we would most likely develop muscle cramps. Plus, our body will not be able to regulate its core temperature, and an increase in core body temperature can lead to overheating and exhaustion.
Staying hydrated is an all-day affair. Start your day with at least 8-16 ounces of water and sip it frequently throughout the day. Consuming at least 32 ounces of water during your workout should keep you adequately hydrated. While you keep yourself fueled up by making necessary pit-stops to eat.
What Is The Best Time To Eat For Recovery?
There isn’t really a fixed time or plan to eat for optimal recovery because it varies from person to person. The immune system, digestive systems are different and our bodies respond differently. With that being said it is important to understand how recovery works.
If you undergo a peak performance activity, or if you are going through endurance training or simply running, you might want to finish the workout and get some food in your system. If you don’t, the body then starts utilizing the healthy fat and it makes you lose muscle mass and makes you weak.
Timing of out diet aids recovery in a way that If you sleep 8 hours per night, and your peak performance period lasts 3 hours, you’re left with about 13 hours of recovery food living, basically 2 to 4 portioned meals.
Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Diet?
A point comes when it simply won’t matter how worked up you get, how you constantly outperform or how much time and effort you put into sweating at the gym, programming your workouts and analyzing the weaknesses in your training if you don’t have the nutritional side covered as well.
Eating a balanced diet that contains a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, dairy products, seafood, lean meats, and poultry. When choosing what to eat, emphasize nutrient-dense foods, which are packed with vitamins and minerals and have relatively few calories.
10 Consumables That Increase Recovery- Promote Better Health And Performance
Nutrition is the base of all performance. Make sure your nutritional arsenal is on point by bringing these 10 Super-foods into your diet to improve all-round wellbeing and round the clock performance.
- Chia seeds: They contain high levels of healthy omega-3-acids that enhance concentration, plant-based protein for muscle and fiber to keep you full and nourished when you’re trying to cut body fat. Calcium and potassium help your recovery process and anti-oxygen prevents inflammation and muscle soreness. For similar health effects, cutting costs, you can also turn to ground flaxseed, spoiler alert! They aren’t as easy to turn into a delicious and guilt-free dessert.
- Avocado: This absolutely yum and buttery fruit is full of unaltered, natural fatty acids, a great source of energy after your workout, especially if you’re avoiding carbs. They also contain vitamin A&K, promoting bone and heart-health, a lot of fiber for a functioning gut, and anti-oxidants to prevent soreness.
- Leafy greens: The best among these, is Kale but spinach is equally benefitting the body to break down proteins and create new ones from the amino acids and also forming new blood cells and DNA.
- Almonds: They combine healthy, mono-saturated fats and protein with Vitamin E, copper, riboflavin, potassium and calcium. A handful of almonds is the perfect recovery snack.
- Kimichi and fermented food: a great help in balancing the digestive system, allows us to digest the ridiculous amounts of food we sometimes eat, without having to compromise on the nutrient absorption.
- Matcha Tea: Matcha boosts our energy level with a good amount of caffeine, offers tons of important vitamins, calcium for your bones strength and anti-oxidants to speed up your recovery.
- Quinoa: It contains both, a decent amount of proteins and complex carbohydrates, as well as essential amino acids, making it a perfect fuel for your body. It’s commonly used in sports nutrition.
- Cherries and Berries: Berries and Cherries provide anti-oxidants in abundance, are especially great for someone working on endurance. Drinking cherry juice helps recover more quickly and measurably increase their performance.
- Skyr: Confused by the name? It’s a special sort of Icelandic dairy made from four times the amount of skimmed milk used in yogurt, contains a huge amount of calcium and proteins, without carbohydrates and fat, which makes it a perfect fit to hit your protein goals.
- Coconut Water: It will give back the electrolytes you lost sweating. The natural coconut sugar is a great way to quickly replenish glycogen (read: energy) deposits in your muscles, paving the way for efficient muscle recovery and growth.
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What and when you eat can make a big difference to your performance and recovery. Consuming meals that are balanced in macronutrients and composed of real and whole food is extremely important. Well-balanced meals and fluid are important for energy production, recovery, prevention of injuries and proper growth.
But, with that being said … Both meal composition and meal timing must be individualized for each person based on body, age, gender, intensity, duration and frequency of activity. Happy recovery!