After workouts, make sure to get the right nutrition
IF YOU’VE been working out like there’s no tomorrow, but your muscles are not growing much, examine whether you are getting the right nutrition. Proper nutrition gives you the raw materials for recuperation, energy and growth. Depending on your height, weight, metabolism and other factors, you should consume between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day if you are an adult woman and 2,000 to 3,000 if you are a man.
What can you do to get the right nutrition?
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of large, infrequent ones. When you feed your body several times a day, your metabolism increases and you burn more fat. - Include the right mix of macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat. It is recommended that you get 50 to 60 per cent of your total daily calories from carbohydrates, 12 to 20 per cent from protein and 30 per cent from fat.
- Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. When you ingest carbohydrates, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Consuming too much carbohydrates can cause a huge release of insulin turning your body into a fat-storing machine - which is bad for your health. - Complex carbohydrates give you sustained energy while simple carbohydrates give you an immediate boost. Eat mainly complex carbohydrates throughout the day except after a workout when your body needs simple carbohydrates to replenish its glycogen levels. - Complex carbohydrates include starchy foods like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice and peas, and fibre-rich foods like carrots, cauliflower, green beans and spinach.
Without protein, building muscle and burning fat efficiently would be impossible. If you are lifting weights, consume 1.0 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass per day. Good sources of protein include eggs, chicken breast, turkey, lean meats and fish. Fish is best.
All the cells in the body have some fat in them. Fats lubricate your joints. If you eliminate fat from your diet, an array of important chemical reactions will be interrupted. There are three types of fats: Saturated fats are associated with heart disease and high cholesterol levels. They are found in products of animal origin. Some vegetable fats are altered in a way that increases the amount of saturated fat in them through a chemical process known as hydrogenation. Hydrogenated vegetable oils are often found in packaged foods. Coconut, palm and palm kernel oils and non-dairy creamers are often loaded with hydrogenated oils.
• Polyunsaturated fats are often found in vegetable oils, such as corn, cottonseed, soybean and sunflower oils.
• Monounsaturated fats have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels. These fats are usually high in essential fatty acids and may have antioxidant properties. Good sources of these fats are avocados, peanut butter, nuts and seeds, as well as canola, peanut, safflower and sesame oils.
More than 65 per cent of your body is composed of water. Without water, you would not survive very long. Water cleanses your body of toxins.
• You need water for complex chemical reactions that your body performs each day, including energy production, muscle building and fat burning.
• Water helps control your appetite. Sometimes when you feel hungry after a meal, it may indicate a lack of water. Drinking water could stop your cravings.
• Cold water increases your metabolism. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but if you’re working out, you should drink much more.
Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of large, infrequent ones. When you feed your body several times a day, your metabolism increases and you burn more fat.
*All materials are only for your information, and should not be construed as medical advice. Where necessary, appropriate professionals should be consulted