Dietary intake before exercise needs to match your physiological needs. The amount of energy you are physically capable of exerting will be affected by the food intake that occurred beforehand. The conversion of food into glucose at a cellular level is essential to avoid muscle fatigue and exhaustion – but many diets for weight loss emphasize meal plans that are incompatible with your workout. It is essential to understand the role of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to adjust your eating to produce the right amount of glucose.
High Protein Diets Won’t Cut
It Protein is associated with cellular regeneration and healthy muscles. However, cellular energy is produced when carbohydrates (changed into glucose) are chemically converted to energy during a biochemical process called the “Krebs cycle”. Protein is not utilized for energy until the other two nutrient building blocks – carbohydrates and fats – have been depleted. For people on diets to lose weight, reducing carbohydrates can be important to decreasing daily calorie consumption. Protein-rich foods tend to be lower in calories and energy, but individuals engaged in intensive exercise routines need carbohydrates to keep up their energy level. Otherwise, the result can be faster muscle fatigue and energy depletion during a high-intensity workout.
Emphasize Cereal and Whole Grains
The reason many marathon runners and long-distance bicyclists eat an energy bar a half-hour before commencing is that complex carbohydrates (e.g., grains) are the best source of fuel for muscles. Sugar (as found in candy) is metabolized into glucose in a different manner than cereal and grains – and produces “quick” energy that vanishes just as quickly. Energy bars are usually composed of a combination of carbohydrates and proteins. Therefore, they have a high nutritional value for people engaged in high-intensity exercise. Eating whole grain bread is also an excellent source of complex carbohydrates (and, therefore, often included in meals by people who are not dieting and maintain an exercise routine).
For overweight individuals attempting to diet, daily exercise can promote weight loss as calories are burned up by aerobic exercise. However, reducing calorie consumption is the most effective way to lose weight, as the amount of exercise necessary to burn calories is often more than the dieter can perform on a daily basis. Additionally, eating an energy bar will put on calories in a person not undergoing exercise since this is a high-caloric snack!
Dealing with Hunger after a Workout
Following an hour of vigorous exercise, a person can often feel hungry in response to depleted blood glucose and fatigue. It is not a good idea to over-eat after intensive exercise. Digesting food requires energy – and the energy depletion may not enable proper digestion of large amounts of food consumed at one time. This can result in stomach cramps. It is best to eat a small amount of protein. This will help the tissues replenish, and provide enough energy to allow a return to normal heart rate before consuming a meal