The body needs a certain amount of nutrients to perform its basic needs. Whether you are a couch potato or an athlete you need the adequate nutrients to do what you have to do. However, because athletes are putting more demands on their bodies they need more nutrients than an average person needs.
If you take regular exercise and you have fitness goals that you want to achieve then you need to perform at your optimum level. To do this you need to exercise properly and you need a healthy balanced diet that provides the essential nutrients your body will need. Maximum performance can be achieved when you reach equilibrium between the nutritional intake and your level of exercise. Achieving this balance will result in your body reaching and maintaining its natural weight. This will also result in higher levels of energy, vitality and strength to meet the demands and excel at your training program.
A physically active person will need to eat more calories in their diet. Calories are needed to expend they energy you need to power your body. To acquire these calories you will need more carbohydrates. Foods that are high in carbohydrates provide the fuel the body needs to move. Carbohydrates do this by enabling the body to covert them in to glucose which is needed to power your muscles. You need to eat plenty of carbohydrates on a daily basis, because the body has a low capacity to store it you will need to keep topping it up.
There are two types of carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are found in high sugar foods sweets, jam, cakes and pastries. These can also be found in foods containing refined starches such as pasta,white bread and white rice.
The other is complex carbohydrates such as porridge oats, brown rice and brown bread. The complex carbs release energy slowly while refined carbohydrates release energy in the body quickly.
It is advisable that you eat more of the complex carbohydrate foods and limit your intake of the refined foods. Refined foods that contain sugar make your blood glucose levels shoot up and down giving you very high and very low energy levels.
You also need to eat foods that contain protein. Protein plays an important role in repairing your muscle damage due to physical exertion. It also helps to build up your muscle mass that will increase the body’s strength and power. Protein foods include red meat that is low in fat, eggs, chicken and oily fish.
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