Any bodybuilder will tell you that if you don’t get your diet right, then you will never achieve the body and fitness you want. Strength, power, focus and stamina are all maintained and enhanced by nutrition. We have designed these 5 eating tips that anyone can use so that you can ensure you stay at the top of your game
If you want to change your body then you need to change your diet as well. Eating a high fat, high calorie will put you on the path to nowhere. If you workout on a regular basis then your body needs the right type of fuel which means eating food full of protein and energy.
Starting a new diet can be a nightmare but with our eating tips, you will start to see what types of food you should be eating to maintain and enhance your body.
Detox after Workout
After an intense workout, you’ll probably notice the after-effects such as muscle spasms, tenderness and fatigue. Not only will you go through this experience but your metabolism will be sky high. Metabolism is the process of when fuel is broken down to create energy. On a rest day, oxygen, as well as food, is used for energy production. When this happens, the oxygen connects with hydrogen inside your body to create H2O (water) but sometimes, small particles of oxygen don’t do this and this creates a process called Reactive Oxygen Species-basically free radicals.
Believe it or not, exercise creates free radicals as well as boosting your metabolism. As the rate of oxygen utilisation increases, the rate of free radicals also goes up. This can lead to inflammation and fatigue which isn’t great if you want to transform your body.
One of our best eating tips to fight free radicals is to pack in the antioxidant foods after exercise. Antioxidant foods include fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens. They packed full of vitamins, minerals and help lower your oxidative stress levels. Personally, I prefer strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, kale and broccoli after a workout to ensure my body is clean of free radicals.
Get Your Carbs Right!
Eating a protein rich diet with ZERO carbs will not help your training programme. Your body needs carbohydrates to fuel intense workouts. Who can workout on an empty stomach? Nobody. Carbohydrates are the best source of energy to get you fighting hard and faster in the gym.
Lean protein such as chicken, protein and fish are also essential to maintain bone density, healthy tissue and promotes muscle growth. If you carbohydrate but no protein and vice versa, it’s unlikely that you will achieve the desired effects.
Feeding your body with the right carbohydrates is essential for performance, strength and stamina. If you are new to training, its tempting to dive into a pizza or pasta as your body is craving carbohydrates however this won’t help your energy levels nor your waist line. Eating low GI foods (Glycaemic Index) will ensure that the sugar is slowly released into your body so that you can keep going for longer in the gym. Better still, low GI carbohydrates is in many foods such as brown rice, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. It’s best to eat carbs at least 2 hours before training so that your energy remain high and consistent.
Believe it or not, eating simple carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, fruit juice or rice cakes 30 minutes after your workout increase your insulin levels. This helps transport important nutrients to your liver which is vital to aid recovery and makes ready for the next training session.
Eat the Right Fats
Not all fats are bad for you. Foods high in omega 3 and 6 are essential for maintaining and repairing healthy tissue and boost your energy levels. “Good fats” enable your tissue to heal faster after a tough workout. Your body needs to fat to help store and release energy so it isn’t a wise idea to remove it completely from your diet.
As mentioned, the two best fats to consume are omega 3 and 6. Your body goes through a lot of stress during exercise and these fats are needed to help your body’s response to that stress. Its common to eat more omega 6 than omega 3 so its important to get the balance right. If you find that you’re eating more of one than the other, you can try supplementing your omega levels with salmon, mackerel, walnuts, avocado and sardines,
Breakfast is essential when working out as your blood sugar levels are low so you need to pack in the energy so that you can workout harder and faster. A car can’t run without an engine. Eating a balanced breakfast of complex carbohydrates (not processed) and lean protein will help you feel more energised. An example could be an omelette with brown toast. It might sound like an effort but eating breakfast is better than gaining weight.
If you’re still not convinced about eating breakfast in the morning, you might be surprised to know that your cortisol levels at their peak in the morning. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” which is produced in the adrenal gland and whilst it can help in fighting your body’s reaction to stress and can also lead create blood sugar in-balance, breakdown of muscle tissue, high blood pressure and poor cognitive awareness. If your cortisol levels are high in the morning, your body can’t produce the level of muscle tissue and strength and carry out a tough workout. A good breakfast can counter-act this by providing an essential source of energy and prevent muscle failure.
Iron is Power!
One of our most recommended eating tips is to eat iron. Iron is essential for producing red blood cells which transport oxygen round the body. It is found in haemoglobin and myglobin. Myglobin is vital for athletes and bodybuilders but releases stored oxygen in the muscles which in turn, makes you move faster and harder. It is recommended for men to eat at least 8.7mg of iron a day and 14.8mg for women.
Iron is found in lots of food from animal protein (red meat, liver) to kale, spinach, broccoli and pulses. It is also available in capsule form in most pharmacies. The iron found in food are non-heme meaning that they aren’t joined to the heme protein it is advised to eat iron rich food with vitamin-c like orange juice to ensure its absorbed into the bloodstream.
If you tend to feel tired after a workout or have your period, we recommend increasing your iron intake so that you are sharp and active during exercise.
With these 5 eating tips, not only will your performance improve but you will feel more alert and confident. Try these new eating tips and feel the change today.