Exercising has a positive effect on your health. You feel more energetic and maintain your weight more easily. But, do you also ensure a sufficient food intake to improve your sports performance? Many people underestimate the effect of nutrition on their sports performance, health and weight. Did you know that if you’re exercising to achieve a certain weight or muscle mass, nutrition has a bigger effect than sports?
Firstly, think of your water intake: if you’re doing sports, your body loses a lot of water. If you lose 2% of water weight, your sports performance may already decrease by 25%. Most athletes don’t need to drink sport drinks: only if you train longer than one hour, you may consider it. Rather drink water while exercising: 150 ml per 15 minutes, or for very heavy sport sessions: 500ml per 30 minutes. As an athlete, you can easily drink 2 to 2.5 liters of water daily.
Carbohydrates are good
In addition, it is useful to eat enough carbohydrates. Do not underestimate this: carbohydrates are necessary for the release of energy and for building muscle. A higher muscle mass means more fat burn, even during rest. Avoid carbohydrates from soft drinks, snacks, fruit juice and white bread. You get more energy from brown pasta, bread and rice, fruit, vegetables and beans or chickpeas. If you prefer to eat white rice or pasta before exercising, be sure to add enough vegetables to have the energy for your sports session.
Recover with food
In addition, your body also needs food after your workout. Most important are the proteins, from beans, chickpeas, meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, dairy and eggs. Many athletes overestimate the amount of protein they need. Try to eat 1 to 1.5 grams of proteins per kilogram of body weight. The most important period to eat enough proteins is in the 48 hours after a sports session. Try to divide your protein intake over your meals during that period. Especially in the evening a small meal with some proteins works beneficial for the recovery of your body.
If you make small adjustments in your food intake and try to drink enough, you will notice that you have more fun in sports and improve! Note what your sports goals are in the diary of the NiceDay app, for example 5 kg of weight loss, running 10 km, touching your feet, et cetera. Also note how your sessions go and what you’ve achieved already. This gives you a nice overview of the progress you make.