Sports nutrition is really about putting the right nutrients in your body at the right time

Photo by Anastase Maragos/Unsplash

Staying fit takes more than just visiting the gym regularly. You also have to make sure that what you feed your body is healthy. This is where sports nutrition can help you.

“Some people think that sports nutrition is some over complicated thing. The reality is sports nutrition is grounded in the same principles as general good healthy nutrition,” says Dr. Dana Ryan, sports nutritionist and director for Sports Performance and Education of Herbalife Nutrition.

“Sports nutrition is really about putting the right nutriments in your body at the right time. Whether you’re winning a race or coming in last, you’re moving your body and your heart rate goes up. You’re using carbohydrates for fuel. When you’re breaking down muscles, you need protein to recover. The principles of sports nutrition becomes important for anyone who’s active.”

So, how do you incorporate sports nutrition into your daily activities? Dr. Ryan shares the following tips.

1. Make sure that you have adequate carbohydrates before you exercise because that’s going to be your body’s fuel source

“We don’t store a lot of carbohydrates but it’s our first source of energy when we’re exercising,” adding that you need to have some simple carbohydrates prior to working out. “You can get that energy quickly from fruits.”

2. Have some electrolytes when you’re exercising for over half an hour or doing an intense workout

“When you sweat or when you’re exercising, you lose electrolytes in addition to fluids. Drinking water is sometimes not enough. You need electrolytes to stay hydrated.”

3. Get some good quality protein after you exercise

“Have at least 20 grams of protein in combination with some carbohydrates,” she advises, emphasizing that protein is essential after a workout. “When you exercise, you break down your muscle fibers. Consuming good protein can help rebuild them and make them stronger.”

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