No matter how good your training program is, how much willpower you have or how good your genetics are, the fact is – if you want to get as strong as possible, you need to have a proper diet. You might spend a few hours in the gym every day, but different studies have shown that what you eat before, during and after a workout may make the difference between meeting your goals and falling short. Of course, this does not mean that you need to suffer through every meal – your ideal diet depends entirely on your specific, individual preferences, needs and goals.
Small Meals Reduce Your Perception of Fatigue
Obviously, workouts demand a lot of energy, and when it comes to an energy boost, it is better to eat small meals and snack every couple of hours throughout the day, than it is to eat three large meals. This eating regime will reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain has very few energy reserves, so it needs a steady supply of nutrients. According to a recent study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, conducted with the eating regimes of bodybuilders in mind, eating six meals per day containing 0.5 g/kg bodyweight of protein will maximize the benefits of nutrient timing and frequency.
You can Use Caffeine to Your Advantage
Caffeine is a strong stimulant, and depending on when and how much you consume it, caffeine can increase or decrease your energy levels. The substance also increases alertness, so having a cup of coffee prior to hitting the gym can help keep you focused. Furthermore, if you are looking to shed a couple of pounds, start drinking coffee or black tea before lifting sessions. According to a research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those 80 g of caffeine in a cup of coffee can boost your metabolism up to 10% and increase fat burning by 10-29%.
The Effects of Power Bars
It is impossible to walk into your local supermarket without seeing shelves upon shelves lined with various power bars that claim to increase your energy and durability. In most cases, the manufacturers claim that they are superior to regular candy bars, due to an “ideal ratio” of carbs, protein and fat. However, you have to be aware that there is no actual proof of this so-called ideal ratio. Researchers from the Ohio State University have compared the glycemic index of energy bars with other carb sources. What they have discovered is that energy bars are no better at providing sustainable energy than regular candy bars.
Avoid Crash Diets at All Cost
If you want to lose weight, you have to do it gradually, without starving yourself of the calories you need for energy or skimping on essential nutrients. Poor diet and inadequate calorie intake are generally the biggest causes of fatigue. You should set a reasonable goal for yourself and try to lose about a pound per week. Depending on your weight, this can be achieved by cutting anywhere from 250 to 500 calories a day from your usual diet, and exercising for half an hour three to four times a week. While the progress may slow down after a while, there are ways of getting past your plateau, such as tracking the number of calories and weighing your food.
Your productivity is partially determined by what you eat and when you eat it; pioneering researcher Roy F. Baumeister asserts that even a simple thing such as skipping breakfast can ruin several hours of productivity, until we get our first bite. Also keep in mind that the number on the scale is not a reliable indicator of your overall health. As a matter of fact, according to Public Health Nutrition, people who exercise or diet only to lose weight quit a lot sooner than the people who make healthy changes for other reasons.
Guest blog by blogger - Samantha Olivier