There’s a variety of foods that can help provide the body with the necessary amount of energy to perform well and the timing of each meal is also important towards the effect of energy levels during exercise.
An individual should eat a meal predominantly consisting of complex carbohydrates approximately 3 to 6 hours before a workout. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy for muscles during physical activities. Because carbohydrates are easy to digest, they can actually help the body use fat during exercise. Whole grains, brown rice, couscous, millet, quinoa, and bulgur are examples of complex carbohydrates and these can supply lasting energy to the body.
When it comes to protein and fat, these are not the body’s substantial energy provider but adding them to your diet can supply enough fuel for endurance exercises like running and long-distance biking. Adding lean sources of protein and healthy fats to the same pre-workout meal 3 to 6 hours before exercise provides a richer, more balanced meal. Flank steak, salmon, chicken breasts, lean ground turkey, and tuna are examples of lean protein sources. Canola oil, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, and flaxseed oil are examples of healthy fats to also include.
Eating a balanced meal made up of carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats is essential towards providing the body with the necessary nutrition it needs to be able to perform to its fullest capabilities. But, pre-workout hydration is equally as important as pre-workout nutrition. Dehydration can often lead to fatigue and loss of coordination. Individuals who participate in strenuous physical activity or exercise should be drinking from 16 to 24 oz. of water an hour before workouts and drink 8 oz. of water every 15 minutes during exercise.
Our body depends on the energy we provide it with to function fully and effectively throughout the day. The type of food we eat and the amount of water we consume are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
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A balanced nutrition is a key element towards achieving overall health and wellness just as equally as exercising, but most importantly because the human body relies on the energy we implement through our meals to function effectively. Before starting any form of physical activity, it’s crucial to properly fuel the body to get the most out of a workout routine. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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