Are you busting your ass everyday training, giving it 100% but not seeing the changes you want? This may be because your body isn’t getting the right fuel it needs for optimal performance and recovery. Before I became a Nutritionist, I didn’t connect the dots between what I was eating and drinking and how they affected workouts. But, once I began incorporating some important nutrients into my diet, I really saw my body begin to change. If you want to up your game and improve your training, follow my next few blogs to see how you can incorporate five easy but essential nutrients into your diet. I feel like I need to begin right away with the most important element.
What is colourless, tasteless, and has no caloric value, but it is the most important element of your diet because it is involved in every function in the body? Yep, you got it… it’s water. I dedicated a full blog to the importance of water back in July (check it out here), but I feel like I need to reiterate that it is THE most important thing to give your body and more than half of us are not getting enough. The average recommendation for water per day to maintain a good level of hydration is 2 litres for women and 3 litres for men. But when you are training hard sparring, rolling, and doing the 100 sit-ups everyone has come to love, you need even more water to replace the lost fluids and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium that keep your muscles relaxed and help store carbohydrates that fuel the muscles. Drinking more will improve your performance, energy levels, muscle fatigue, and help you to lose weight.
Your first nutrition challenge… Increase your fluid intake by including at least one of the following:
- Start your morning by having a large glass of water before leaving the house
- Drink a glass of water before each meal
- Drink an additional litre of water during/after a workout to replace lost fluids
- Keep your water bottle in sight. Take a few sips each time you leave your workspace
- Drink a cup of herbal tea (hot or cold)
- Try sparkling water sweetened with fruit juice
- Drink an additional litre of water during your workout to replenish what you have lost
- Add flavour to your water with a workout powder such as BCAA’s (Branched-chain amino acids) to build muscle and reduce soreness and fatigue
- Add a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage you have