What is exercise? Exercise is any form of activity that makes one’s body burn excess calorie/energy that is not utilized/needed by the body.

When one takes excess carbs, proteins and fats than required by the body, they are stored by the body as fats for future use. As more fats are stored in the body a person becomes overweight which is very unhealthy. The fat cells are found just under the skin, around abdominal region, in smooth muscles such as the heart and this may lead to heart attack and/or hypertension.

There are many forms of exercises such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, playing football and many more. When these kind of exercises take place calories are burned (calories are the measurements of energy). The calories burned depend on the intensity and duration of exercising. The ideal goal should be to burn more calories than intake.

Exercise can be done at any time but mornings and evenings are the ideal time because the temperatures are conducive. Exercising in the morning leaves one refreshed and the body functions well. Most of the intense exercises are done at night because there is time to rest.

Most people don’t really know what to eat before, during and after exercise and the time intervals between food and exercise.

Well, here is a guide to that:

Before exercise

One should eat 2 to 3 hours before depending on the intensity and duration of exercise. Foods to focus on should be:

  1. Proteins which help prevent or minimize damage, improve health and body composition and increase muscle size.
  2. Carbs which provide energy for exercising, help in recovery and also stimulate insulin release when taken together with protein.
  3. Fats which slow digestion and maintain blood sugar and insulin levels.
  4. Vitamins which help in the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbs.

Protein, however, should be taken 4-5 hours before exercising because they take long to be digested.

During exercise

Solid foods should not be the ideal choice at this stage because they may cause complications in the trainer’s body. Fluids are given during exercising. For a short exercise duration, usually less than 2 hours, water is normally given but for exercise lasting more than 2 hours, sport drinks with electrolytes, especially sodium, are given. Low sodium, hyponatremia, cause muscles and heart to contract. The energy drinks have:

  1. Proteins to prevent muscle breakdown, help trainer adopt to training and also help in recovery. About 15gm/hr of protein is given.
  2. Carbs to provide enough energy, for faster recovery and also boost performance. Carbs increase mass and strength to trainers. about 60-70 gm/hr should be given but if taken with proteins about 30-45gm/hr should be given.

NB: Fats should not be given at this point because they slow digestion.

The goals of nutrition at this stage is to provide immediate energy, keep the body hydrated, boost performance, improve recovery and preserve muscles.

After exercise

Food should be taken an hour after exercising. Proteins, carbs, moderate fats, vitamins and minerals should be included in the diet for a good body functioning. Empty calories/junk foods should be avoided because they are high in calories and they do not add any value to the body.

Post exercise nutrition should help refuel, re-hydrate, recover the body and also improve future performance.

 Check out my next article for exercise videos. Thank you.

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