Are you still relying on counting calories to determine your nutritional needs? This is an old way of thinking and involves outdated science. The new approach to fitness nutrition emphasizes nutrient density. What is your workout philosophy? Push – push – push? If so, you may be missing a key component to fitness: recovery.
The new fitness mindset
The importance of looking at fitness nutrition holistically is finally becoming recognized. The result of your next workout is the product of your stress level, hormone balance, sleep quality, and energy reserves.
If you are looking for optimal health and results, fueling your workout and recovering from your workout are as important as the workout itself. Repair and rebuilding processes are happening at an accelerated rate after a workout. Poor quality construction material will result in poor quality structures. “You are what you eat” is very important to remember at this time.
Get high net-gain from optimal nutrition
Quality, clean carbohydrates should be used for fueling before a workout in order to burn “clean” energy. High protein foods should be used for rebuilding post-workout. If protein is used as a pre-workout energizer, this can lead to a “dirty” burn, which is recognizable as an ammonia smell with perspiration. Fat stores are used for endurance. You can teach your body to burn fat for energy with proper training and quality fitness nutrition.
Quality sourced sugar that is low on the glycemic index can be a great source of fuel, supplying both immediate energy and sustained energy for your workout. Sprouted brown rice and coconut blossom sugar are two excellent examples.
Herbs like green tea 20 minutes before a workout have multiple benefits including, increased focus, reduced inflammation, increased blood flow, and enhanced recovery due to the naturally occurring “pre-recovery” effects that reduce stress from the start.
With the regular consumption of quality magnesium supplements, electrolyte drinks, and mineral rich sugars, the quality of your workouts remain high because your muscles will be relaxed. This means less energy is required to move your muscles; therefore more energy is conserved and utilized for overall performance. Minerals are wonderful hydrators and support blood-flow and heart function, which are important to a good workout. Hydration is key pre, during, and post workout. The amount of inflammation you will have and how well your soft tissue repair depends on it.
Stay away from chemical laden performance gels. Use whole dates and coconut oil to support your endurance workouts, if needed.
Make refueling a priority in order to switch from a catabolic state (your body eating its own muscle), to an anabolic state (using food to rebuild itself). Important reminder: You are what you eat! If regular exercise puts your body in perpetual regeneration mode, then you want to give it the highest quality building materials to create the best version of you.
We have posted in the past about the importance of plant-based protein as your best post workout choice. You can read about that here.
There are other things to consider besides repairing muscle tissue. After a workout your immune system drops, therefore choosing foods, super foods, and supplements that support your immune system is most important. Hormonal support is also very important. For example, cortisol is high after a workout. If it doesn’t come down, then this results in poor sleep, worse recovery, and adrenal stress. The importance of super foods and herbs like maca and other nutrients become essential for the modern day athlete.
Follow these general guidelines and start building a platform of long term health using holistic fitness nutrition.