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Getting the Fuel You Need for a Successful Workout

Craig Middleton Apr 7, 2020
Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of good physical health. The things you consume supply you with energy, restores muscles and help you heal. This is especially important if you have an intense workout regimen. Knowing what to eat and when to eat can help you get the right fuel you need to maximize your workouts and keep you in top physical shape.

Carbohydrates

The carbohydrates you eat are themain source of energy. Just like putting gas in your tank makes your car work, carbs fuel your body. Not all carbs work the same way, though. Simple carbohydrates, such as refined grains or sugars, can give you a sudden spike of energy only to make you crash later.
To keep your energy levels regulated, you need a diet full of complex carbohydrates. Foods made from whole grains help regulate blood sugar levels to provide a balanced, steady stream of energy. These foods include whole grain breads, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.

Protein

Protein helps build and maintain your muscles. It is made up of amino acids that strengthen and maintain your body. Protein also assists in the healing process, so it's an important part of your balanced diet.
You may be wondering whether to eat protein before or after a workout. The answer to this question is twofold. First, it's a good idea to include protein in every meal. As it is one of the three macronutrients that support your body's health and function, you need a steady intake to get all the protein your body uses.
Second, the hour after you work out is a great time to get extra protein, because your body is rebuilding the muscles that are exerted when you exercise.

Fat

Fat gets a bad reputation, but the truth is that some kinds of fat are essential for good physical health. Monounsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados and peanuts, can lower blood cholesterol, regulate body temperature and keep you healthy. Omega-3 fats are essential for heart and can be found in fish, walnuts and eggs.
Most problems people experience with fat in their diet comes from overindulging or eating the wrong kinds of fat. Saturated fat can weigh you down and take long to digest. They also have been linked to high cholesterol and blood pressure. Eating good fats in moderation is the key to making fat work for you instead of against you.

Fiber

If you feel heavy or bloated while working out, you may need to increase your dietary fiber intake. A diet high in fiber can help you improve your workout by helping your body get rid of impurities that slow it down.
In addition to helping your system flush out waste and toxins, fiber also plays a role in taking care of your heart and blood sugar levels. Because fiber-rich foods help you feel full, you may eat less at each meal. This is a good way to get your weight under control, which can keep you motivated to stick to your workout routine.

Water

The human body is made up mostly of water, so it logically follows that you need to stay hydrated. If you are exercising on a regular basis, good hydration is particularly important because you are losing more water than usual every time you sweat. Drinking the right amount of water consistently can improve your mood,  focus, endurance and overall function.
Drinking water before a meal can help you feel full so that you do not overeat. It's also a good idea to replenish fluids as soon as you lose them. Therefore, keeping a water bottle handy during your workout can help you gain back the water you lose through sweat.
You can't out-perform a bad diet. If you want to get the most out of your workout, you need to also be getting the right fuel. By committing to proper nutrition and staying hydrated, you are likely to see better results from your fitness efforts.