Is nutrition REALLY that important for performance?
The short answer is YES it is!
Here is the longer answer….
The body can only perform as well as the nutrition it has to create energy and enhance recovery and repair.
When either nutrients are lacking to create energy or adequate nutrition isn’t provided to assist repair and recovery, much of our sweating, cursing, pain and hard work is in vain, as we really aren’t maximizing our workout. And who really wants to put themselves through a killer workout and not get optimal results? Seems crazy to do that to yourself really.
Nutritional tips to enhance your workout
To create energy the body requires specific nutrients that work on the different metabolic pathways. I won’t go into depth with this, but, if the body hasn’t rested and had good nutrition, it is possible to be lacking energy to perform our best, resulting in a sub optimal session.
Having quality carbohydrates and certain vitamins and minerals are essential for energy production. Pre-workout supplements may be used to enhance blood flow, energy, improved strength and performance. However, good nutrition is still essential leading up to an exercise session.
The recovery from a workout is just as important as the workout itself. The body needs time to repair any muscle damage and restore energy. This is achieved by rest and quality nutrition. Not allowing rest and depleted nutrients prevents the body from recovery and building the muscle back stronger. If another workout is performed, without the rest and nutrition, it can cause more harm than good.
Post exercise, the body needs to be hydrated and electrolytes replaced if a longer or hot session was performed. Quality protein is essential to stop further breakdown of muscle mass and start repair. In particular, the muscle needs Branched Chain Amino Acids, which can be gained from foods, but for convenience is beneficial in a supplement.
Carbohydrates are also generally required to assist with replacing any glycogen stores that have been used throughout the exercise session. Again, these can be through foods such as fruits, vegetables or starch based foods, or in a supplement form.
As exercise also creates an inflammatory response from the breakdown of muscle, anti-inflammatory foods or supplements can also be useful for repair and recovery.
Improved strength, fitness, body composition and muscle mass is only partially achieved through the exercise component. Don’t get me wrong, there are many other benefits of exercise for health, but if you’re going to put yourself through it, wouldn’t you want the best results for all your effort?
Wanting to enhance your performance through great nutrition? Contact me so we can speak about what is best for your personal goals. You can access my contact page here