The Effects of Exercise When Consuming a Healthy Diet
August 24th, 2018
To get the very best results from you daily exercise routine, you need to eat a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet that includes high-energy and high-fibre foods from natural sources. Of course, choosing to eat a meal of meat or poultry and veggies or cereal is a far better decision that eating a double order of fries and a large soda. However, simply choosing healthy food over fast foods or junk snacks is not the only selection needed for consuming the best foods to support your exercise program. To get the best short and long-term benefits from your workouts and sports performance, you need to eat a varied, but steady diet of the right food types at the right hours of the day, including a healthy, nutritious breakfast.
Unhealthy and Depleting Results of Eating Junk Food before Exercise
If you consume fast foods or junk food snacks before going for your workout or team practice session at the gym, you will be eating food with little nutritional value and high contents of processed sugar. This can cause various after-effects that will work against your goals for improved sports performance, such as the following:
• Energy Lags and Depletion. – Soon after you eat junk food that contains excessive amounts of processed sugars like a sweet roll, doughnut or candy bar, your blood sugar counts rise significantly. With a quick energy burst, you may think you are well prepared for strenuous or intensive exercise or a grueling sports practice session. However, not long after feeling ready to challenge the toughest trainer in the gym or roughest kid on the team, you will crash back to lack-luster reality. Even if your workout lasts for an hour or less, your intake of junk food will most likely not even give you enough of a temporary energy boost to make it through your routine.
• Digestive Upsets. – Fast foods and junk food snacks can feel heavy in your stomach and may cause lingering heartburn, indigestion or stomach cramps, all of which can interfere with your sports training or gym workout. You may feel lightheaded, nauseous or suffer from feelings of fatigue after just a few minutes of your exercise routine. If your routine involves different types of training and exercise, which is common today, you may feel fine during your time on the stationary bike, but when running on the treadmill or assuming difficult positions during your yoga instruction, you may feel nauseous, dizzy or disoriented. All these unpleasant and unproductive results can be blamed on ingesting large quantities of refined sugar in your junk food snack before your daily exercise.
• Less Muscle Definition. – Good muscle growth comes from exercising and eating healthy protein, not sugars or fats. Since fast food meals and junk food snacks are usually high in both fats and sugars, they often cause weight gain, even when you are exercising regularly. Because fat collects beneath the skin and over the muscles, you will not develop good muscle definition and tone before ridding your body of this fat accumulation. The best and fastest way to reverse this layer of fat over your muscles is by stopping your intake of junk foods and any snack foods with high contents of sugar and fat. By eating foods high in nutritional proteins, you will fuel your system with energy-producing nutrients while building leaner, dense muscles.
• Adverse Health Conditions. – Consuming junk food and other foods high in sugar and fat without healthy proteins and other nutrients can eventually interfere with performing regular workouts and other forms of exercise. Individuals who eat foods with an excessive amount of fats and sodium can develop high blood pressure and heart problems. Consuming these foods on an ongoing basis may lead to other health issues and conditions like diabetes and obesity. Although many patients who have these medical conditions do exercise regularly, they often must restrict the type and frequency of their sports and exercise routines.
Good Nutrition is Essential for Regular Exercise and Physical Fitness
As your first meal each day, breakfast is of major importance. An article published in the Harvard Health Letter back in 2011 stated that by eating a healthy breakfast on a daily schedule, you can lower your risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and many sports health experts today offer the same advice. When you start your day with a meal of nutrient-rich food that fuels healthy blood sugar levels rather than snacking on foods full of fats and sugars that only increase your body’s fat deposits and weight, you will be powering-up your muscles and your brain activity for higher rates of accomplishment throughout your entire day. You will perform better during your gym workout, day on the job or at school and in your home life duties as well.
Eating healthy, energizing and nutritious breakfast foods is essential on days when you will engage in strenuous workouts or training at the gym, in your community exercise classes or on your sports team training field. Although carbohydrates add to your energy supply, eating toast or a bagel made of white flour or a sweet doughnut will not fuel your muscles for intensive exercise. When choosing breakfast cereal, pass up the popular commercial cereals made form refined grains and packed with processed white sugar.
Instead, have oatmeal or oat bran or another whole grain variety of cereal. You can always add protein from yogurt, milk, nuts or nut butter. If your breakfast food passion is pancakes, be sure to use whole-grain flour and add some cottage cheese, yogurt or soy milk to the batter. Use whole-grain bread for toast when eating an egg, nut butter or some other kind of healthy protein like hummus.
Include the Right Carbs in Your Diet for Balanced Nutrition and High Energy
Healthy carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body. Most nutritional authorities agree that from 45 to 65 percent of your daily intake of calories should consist of carbs, especially if you engage in regular sports training or exercise. Just be sure to avoid the common mistake of including the carbs in heavy sweets and processed foods in your daily meals and snacks.
In their place, eat the complex, healthy carbs contained in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans. These carbs digest more slowly than those found in processed foods, satisfying your appetite and fueling your body with powerful energy supplies that last. They can also bring stability to your blood sugar levels. When you eat whole grains on a daily basis, you will benefit from the enriching vitamins and minerals that they contain, which will help your body’s systems to function at their highest levels.
Empower Your Meals and Snacks with an Abundance of Protein
Protein is essential for keeping all systems and functions of your body in good operating condition, for constantly building new cells, muscles, bones and body tissues and for repairing all parts of your body. According to researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the U.S., red blood cells die after about 4 months, so healthy proteins in your body must help build new ones.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, adults require approximately 0.8 grams of protein in their diets every day for each kilogram of their body weight to maintain good health. That translates to around 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Individuals who workout regularly and older people may require more. This daily intake of protein may come from poultry, red meat, fish, dairy, legumes or eggs. For optimal levels of good health, select lean proteins with low saturated and Trans fat content.
Eat More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
While fresh fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories, they are excellent sources of natural vitamins, minerals, fibre and other nutrients that keep your body healthy and energized. You should make an effort to fill half your plate with veggies and fruits of a variety of colours at each meal. This will boost the quantity of nutrients and antioxidants that you consume. Eat raw veggies and dried fruits for healthy snacks between meals. Also, choose vegetable fats for a healthy diet, like sesame seed oil, olive oil, olives, avocados, seeds and nuts.
Make Major Changes for a Revitalized Lifestyle
According to Daniel DeNoon, Executive Editor of the Harvard Heart Letter, there is now evidence that once you make the decision that you want a healthier lifestyle, you are most likely to experience better lasting results if you adopt a more nutritious diet at the same time you start a regular exercise routine. Many people are discovering that they get better results sooner that last for the long-term by improving both their dietary habits and their levels of physical activity simultaneously. They feel more in control of their lives, and they also feel that they are accomplishing more by changing both these important factors of their everyday habits at the same time.
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