A hard-core Zumba session, a long run or a whole day shopping. All of these are endurance activities that drain your energy stores and leave you feeling hungry, thirsty and physically exhausted.
What’s your recovery remedy? Instinctively you know that you need to eat and drink something after such an assault on the body’s resources; a banana works for some, a sports drink for others or maybe a cuppa and a cake works for you.
Getting good nutrition on board every day can help you to walk/run/swim/ride for longer, as can recovering well with the right food and drink. We all know this yet many of us are still prone to eating Hobnobs and drinking Diet Coke.
Colourful foods deliver medals Elite sports performers help their bodies’ cope with endurance training and racing by packing their diet with lots of colourful foods so they access a range of micronutrients. They also use specialist products to help them recover after a work-out.
Studies into elite performance shows that nutrition plays an equal role with training and that athletes have to carefully manage their food intake, hydration and recovery time if they are to win.
OK, so there aren’t world championships in shopping but if you’d like to work-out for longer, be it in the gym, the pool or on the road, tweaking your diet can help improve your performance. Consider these facts and make some changes to your food and drink intake:
- Running on empty – Energy deficiency is a major factor in elite sports performers failing to reach their targets. Be sure you’ve got enough fuel in your tank before your work-out.
- Know your blood better – Anemia is cited in scientific studies as a frequent reason why sportsmen and women underperform. Get plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet; leafy green veg, red meat and poultry and pulses are good sources.
- It’s the little things that matter – Active bodies need micronutrients so eat a varied diet of colourful food to help you access all that you need. Look for superfood powders or tablets that help you top up what you’re not getting from your food.
- Perspire – hydrate – rest – repeat – Drinking the right fluids can help keep your body hydrated during exercise. It’s also vital to replace lost nutrients after a work-out. Reach for drinks that deliver a mix of carbohydrate for muscle recovery and electrolytes to replenish the body’s natural salts. Milk and coconut water are two of nature’s best ways to rehydrate.
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