Obviously, we all need fuel to perform strenuous activities. Events like 5k marathons and other endurance sports are becoming more popular every day. Therefore, how you prepare nutritiously for this kind of exercise is crucial. It’s equally as essential to succeeding as stretching beforehand. Your food intake may be the difference between participation and success in these long, demanding sports and events.
Fortunately, EatRight.org divides the foods you should eat for endurance training in three separate categories: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In this post, we’ll explore each one and the effects they have on our bodies.
This post was originally published on August 29, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy and consistency.
Carbohydrates provide some of the best fuel for most endurance activities. Of course, this is because we easily digest them. Therefore, we quickly convert them into energy for the body. Since each person is different, the amount of carbohydrates needed varies from person to person.
Luckily, you can easily search online for a carbohydrate calculator to determine how much you need. When you incorporate that amount into your diet, it can prevent fatigue or acute injury in endurance activities. Some examples of carbohydrates to consider are whole grains, or whole wheat, brown rice and sweet potatoes.
Fat is an important source of energy for extensive exercise and sports training. Healthy sources of fat include salmon, nuts and their oils, vegetable oils and avocados.
Of course, you want to limit your intake of saturated fat. This comes from dairy foods like whole milk, butter and high-fat cheese and animal products, as per EatRight.org.
Fats and Recovery
Omega-3 and 6 help streamline recovery time. This is because of their anti-inflammatory effects.
Endurance exercise causes pain and inflammation and these healthy fats help to reduce swelling. Additionally, they help bring your body back into energy balance following the event.
Without a doubt, it’s a well-known fact that protein is the perfect way to build and repair muscles. It helps with fluid balance and supports immune function. Furthermore, protein is also a significant fuel for endurance exercise and sport.
What Kind of Protein is Best?
There are many options for proteins before, during and after exercise. It is recommended to use a combination of soy and whey protein to support an athletic diet. Whey protein is good for recovery and immune system function. Soy protein is better for fulfilling protein requirements prior to exercise.
How Much Protein?
There are many studies on this question. To find out how much protein you should consume, multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.4-1.7 depending on the intensity of your exercise. This will give you the amount in grams.
When you follow a nutritional and well-balanced diet, you can easily meet your needs for endurance training and activities. Just remember, high in quality carbohydrates, moderate in healthy fat and plenty of lean protein.
Conclusion – Farmingdale Physical Therapy West
Ultimately, for an individualized point of view into fueling your body, a physical therapist is your best option. In addition to assisting with injury recovery, they can also consult you on an optimal nutrition plan. At Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, our certified therapists can consult with you on everything you need for a healthier lifestyle and improved quality of life.