Get Fit and Stay Nourished: The Importance of Nutrients in Your Active Lifestyle
by Callum Allan on Apr 19, 2023
You might have heard that 80% of fitness is what you eat, and that statement couldn't be truer. If you're working hard in the gym, yoga studio, or on the field, then you need to fuel your body with the right nutrients to recover and perform. However, with so much conflicting nutrition advice out there, figuring out the right diet for your active lifestyle can be overwhelming. That's why we're breaking down the basics of nutrients and how they impact your fitness goals.
1. Carbohydrates: When people think of carbs, they often think of foods like bread and pasta, and associate them with weight gain. However, carbohydrates are essential for energy, and when it comes to active lifestyles, athletes need more of them. Complex carbohydrates, which come from sources like sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa, are a better option than simple carbohydrates like white bread because they release energy slowly, providing a steady source of fuel for exercise. So, don't fear the carb!
2. Protein: Protein is the building block of muscles, and you need it to repair and grow your muscles after a workout or strenuous activity. Protein is also satisfying and can help you feel fuller for longer. Good sources of protein include chicken, fish, eggs, yoghurt, and beans. If you're vegan or vegetarian, there are plenty of plant-based protein options like lentils, quinoa, and tofu.
3. Fats: While fats get a bad reputation, they play a crucial role in hormone regulation and brain function. Fats also provide a source of energy for long-duration exercises, making them important for endurance athletes. Healthy fats like olive oil, salmon, and avocado are key to a nutritious diet.
4. Vitamins and minerals: While all nutrients are essential, certain vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin C and calcium, are particularly important for active individuals. Vitamin C helps with collagen production, which can aid in muscle repair, and calcium is key for bone health. Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin can help you ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need to support an active lifestyle.
5. Hydration: While not technically a nutrient, hydration is essential for any active individual. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes like sodium and potassium, making it important to replenish your fluids with water or sports beverages that contain these electrolytes. Dehydration can lead to decreased athletic performance, fatigue, and even injury, so never forget to hydrate!
When you're working hard to achieve your fitness goals, it's essential to nourish your body with the right nutrients. Carbohydrates provide energy, protein repairs muscle tissue, fats regulate hormones, vitamins and minerals support overall health, and hydration keeps you performing at your best. Remember, balance is key, and you don't need to deprive yourself of certain foods to meet your goals. So, fuel your body properly, and you'll be on your way to feeling and performing your best!