Appropriate nutrition before, during, and after your workout is key to getting the most out of exercise. To increase the benefits of physical activity, it is very important to nourish your body with the proper energy and minerals.
Importance of Carbohydrates, Minerals, and Protein
Before taking part in any form of physical exertion, nourish yourself with carbohydrates, minerals, and protein. Carbohydrates fuel the cells, regulate blood sugar, prevent muscle degeneration, and provide an energy reserve for intense physical exertion. Minerals regulate many functions and are important for delivering nutrients, producing energy, and regulating neural transmission and muscle contraction during exercise. Proteins contain amino acids that aid in regeneration and recovery. Remember to consume high quality protein throughout the day to prevent muscle breakdown and increase tissue regeneration after exercise.
Examples of high quality foods that will help optimize your workout include orange juice, milk, fruit, cheese, Greek yogurt, low-fat fish, and sweet potatoes, as well as the orange juice sports drink described below.
Orange Juice Sports Drink Recipe
For optimal nutrition during your workout, try making a sports drink with orange juice, sea salt, and hydrolyzed gelatin protein. Combine all the ingredients listed below, and adjust the proportions to suit your needs. Thinning the mixture with water allows for greater hydration and faster absorption of the nutrients. This drink is like a natural form of Gatorade that will help reduce the production of hormones responsible for breaking down muscle during exercise.
- 8 oz. Pulp-free orange juice
- 4 oz. Carbonated water
- 1Tbsp. Gelatin
- ½ Tsp. Sea salt
- Niacinamide (optional, depending on your health and the intensity of your workout)
Nutrition Throughout the Day
The orange juice sports drink is always a good option during your workout. When outlining an individualized nutrition program for the entire day, it’s important to consider what time of day you exercise. Read my next post for detailed nutrition tips for the morning, noon, and evening exerciser.
If your body is undernourished, even well-programmed exercise can be stressful and potentially damaging. So be sure to feed yourself properly before, during, and after your workout. For more detailed information, check out my earlier post on exercise nutrition. Interested in learning more about best practices in health and nutrition? Sign up for my newsletter.