Before a strength training workout you should eat foods that contain healthy fats (oily fish, omelettes and dairy products). If you are running or cycling, it is recommended that you eat foods which contain slow-burning sugars (pasta, rice or cereals).
Food and drinks - sources of energy
Where does your body get all its energy from? The simple answer to this question is that carbohydrates break down into sugars which form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a type of molecule that aids in driving the processes of living cells in your body, which include muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmission. Simple sugars tend to break down quick and easy. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, may take longer to break down, but are able to provide your body with an adequate supply of the compounds required to produce ATP. Contrary to popular belief, sugars are not necessarily bad for your health, as they are an essential requirement for helping your body to get more energy. However, when consumed in excess, or in unhealthy forms, it can lead to adverse health effects such as diabetes.
The human body has 4 individual processes for producing energy. These processes vary according to the rate at which they convert sugars into energy, as well as their ability to burn oxygen effectively.
1. Aerobic Respiration (or cellular respiration) - In this process, the cells in your body use oxygen to burn glucose and produce ATP, thus providing your body with enough energy to perform basic physical functions, such as everyday activities and cardiovascular exercises.
2. Anaerobic Respiration - The body will partially burn glucose without oxygen in this process. It occurs in the cytoplasm, and is effective for high-intensity exercises that take anywhere between 1 – 3 minutes, such as explosive bodyweight workouts and short sprints.
3. Beta-Oxidation/ Fat Burning (Aerobic Lipolysis) - This process takes the longest amount of time to help your body produce energy. As such, this process is ineffective for producing energy during exercise and can only occur when carbohydrates are unavailable in the body.
4. ATP Phosphocreatine - This is the fastest process in your body for producing energy. In this process, the body utilises energy from the cells in your body till they are all completely drained. In turn, these cells use creatine phosphate to get more energy. This type of energy is typically used during short, sharp, explosive workouts that consist of anywhere between 10 – 30 seconds.
These are the internal processes that aid your body to get energy. Food and drink, on the other hand, provides your body with the necessary resources for these energy-producing processes to happen. Alternatively, your food and drink consumption will not only help to build your energy reserves, but can also help to increase the strength and endurance gains experienced during a workout. If you are someone who works out on a regular basis, read on to find out more on what you should eat and drink to sustain your workout routine.
It is crucial to stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. Intense workout routines and sports activities can cause dehydration which, in turn, can lead to a decrease in physical and mental performance. So, what should you drink while exercising?
- Before exercising, you should consume a slightly sweetened drink to regulate your blood sugar level.
- For workout routines that can last for a duration of up to 3 hours, you should drink mineral water consistently to maintain your hydration levels. Berocca helps to meet the needs of endurance athletes. It contains a number of different vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, which is a type of mineral that can aid in balancing the electrolyte levels in your body effectively.
- After exercising, it is recommended to drink mineral soda water that is rich in bicarbonates.
What foods should you eat to get the most out of your sports and fitness activities? A healthy and balanced diet will provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. A diet that is low in carbohydrates, in stark contrast, can result in a lack of energy during exercise, a loss of concentration, and delayed muscle recovery.
Get the most of your sport activities
Your food and drink consumption should provide enough nutrients for your body to produce the energy it needs for everyday activities or exercise. However, if you are a physically active person or an endurance athlete, you should consider adding health supplements like Berocca to your diet in order to get the most out of your training routine.
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A Life of Energy
Tiredness wearing you down but you’re unsure as to why? Learn everything there is to know about gaining more energy, as well as natural energy boosters for sustaining your everyday needs.