“You can’t out-train a bad diet.”
Have you ever heard this saying before? There’s a lot of truth to it. It’s no coincidence that besides their hard training, fitness enthusiasts keep to a strict diet. What you eat can help you reach your goals – a combination of healthy food choices and regular training are the key to success.
Why is a healthy diet so important?
Exercise and recovery are important for building muscle, but without a healthy diet, you probably won’t see much improvement. Your muscles need sufficient energy and protein to grow. Conversely, there’s not much point to a high protein intake if you don’t exercise regularly. They are two halves of a whole and keep your body balanced. For instance, you can eat well-balanced meals, but if your portions are too large and you don’t exercise, you’re bound to put on weight. On the other hand, if you train a lot, but don’t watch your diet, you’ll never get the body you’ve always wanted. So remember the one needs the other!
The big 3 energy providers
The three main energy-yielding nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. All three components are crucial for attaining top training results, but in different amounts. Carbohydrates are our most important source of energy, as they provide the “fuel” for our brain and muscles. Proteins contribute to muscle build-up, and fats contain essential fatty acids, which should only be consumed in small amounts due to their high energy density. But it’s not only the quantity that matters, but the quality, too.
The right timing
Are you unsure of when to eat post-workout? For one or two hours after a workout, there exists a “window of opportunity.” If your body receives the abovementioned nutrients during this window, it can really pay off in terms of your training results. Therefore, eating at the right time plays a major role in how much progress you make.
Don’t forget to drink enough
Up to 60% of our body is water. Without enough liquids, our body cannot make efficient use of all the nutrients. There is a really simple method for finding out how much you need: Multiply your body weight (in kg) by 35 and that’s the amount of liquid (in mL) you need to drink per day. A good deal of liquid will be lost to sweating, so feel free to drink a little extra. Are you drinking enough liquids? Sports drinks are also particularly good for helping you perform at your best.
To sum up, we can say that a healthy diet is only half the battle. It doesn’t matter if you are already training hard – if you don’t pay attention to what you put in your body, you won’t achieve the desired results. But if you use some discipline and stick to your workout program and diet, you will soon see significant improvements. It’s not for nothing that people say abs are made in the kitchen!