The Importance of Staying Hydrated While Exercising

Staying hydrated while exercising helps increase your endurance and fight fatigue.   Your muscles contain approximately 75% water.  Not being properly hydrated will lead to muscle fatigue and/or muscle cramps and not enough water will also cause you to suffer from a loss of strength, power, and cardio endurance.  Additionally, without enough water you will experience a drop in blood volume, resulting in a drop in blood pressure which could lead to dizziness.

It is recommended that you drink 8-10 ounces of water for every 10-15 minutes spent exercising.  If you exercise for longer than an hour, or your workout is particularly intense, it is recommended you consume electrolytes.  Electrolytes are minerals found in blood that help regulate the amount of water in your body.  Sports drinks such as Gatorade helps replenish your body with electrolytes.  Electrolytes are also found in many fruits, bananas and dates containing some of the higher levels. Remember to hydrate with water while consuming fruit.

The factors to consider when exercising that will increase your water loss are higher altitude, higher temperature, perspiration level and the duration and intensity of your workout.  With proper hydration you will have more energy, power and more endurance.  You will stay cooler and feel better while working harder and burning more calories. Sip your water and do not chug it and always carry water  with you.

 

Why Protein is Good for Weight Loss?

A high protein diet can boost a hunger suppressing hormone called PPY, helping you “feel full” longer.

Protein consumed with carbohydrates will slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream which will stop your blood sugar from spiking and help cut-down future cravings.

Protein has a higher thermal effect than carbohydrates or fats.  In other words, your body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs or fats and protein preserves calorie burning muscle.

Protein is needed for muscle repair and growth.  After strength training or intense exercising a high protein snack is recommended to supply your body with the necessary nutrients needed for repair and growth.

Protein should supply you with 15 – 20% of your total daily caloric intake.  Too much protein can lead to weight gain, just like too many carbohydrates or fats. Excess protein can lead to kidney problems over the long term.

A balanced diet should always be your goal.

What to Eat Before a Workout

Just as you’d fill up your car’s gas tank before a road trip, it’s vitally important to make sure your body has the right fuel to sustain you during a workout.

Proper nutrition, both before and after, will also “speed up recovery, protect you from fatigue and get you ready for the next workout,” says Jenna A. Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD, a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics.

So, what should you eat before going for a bike ride or heading to the gym? Use these guidelines and snack ideas to keep your engine running optimally.

Balance carbs with protein
“A relatively high-carbohydrate, moderate protein, low-fat meal is best to consume before exercise,” says Suzette Kroll, a registered dietitian and senior staff member of the Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson, AZ. People often underestimate the importance of the carb part of the equation when fueling up for exercise, especially strength training, says Bell-Wilson. “They assume it’s all about protein. Protein is important for muscle building and repair, but in order to lift those weights you need carbohydrates for energy,” she says. Choose carbs that are easily digestible and avoid high-fat foods – or large quantities of any food – just before working out because they don’t digest well during exercise.

Time it right 
“Whether you’re strength training or going on a run, you want to make sure you have something within four hours before the workout and then a smaller snack in the hour before,” says Bell-Wilson. If you know your workout is only going to last 45 minutes, keep the snack small, she says. “If it’s going to last 2 hours, then you’re going to want to beef up that pre-exercise meal.”

Carefully assess protein bars 
When squeezing a workout into a busy schedule, you may like the convenience of protein or “sports” bars. Make sure you choose carefully; according to Kroll, most bars are “glorified candy bars, often providing even more calories.” To find the better ones, Bell-Wilson suggests choosing a bar that has about 200 calories, up to 5 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbohydrates. “If you find a bar that you really like, but it’s high in calories, just eat half of it,” says Bell-Wilson. “Save the other half for after your workout.”

Don’t eat more than you burn
You just finish a heart-pumping, hour-long workout. You take a quick shower and then pass the gym’s café on the way out. Watch out for those healthy-looking snacks. One smoothie or even a sports drink can replace all the calories you just burned, and then some. “It’s important to realize that just because you worked out doesn’t give you free rein in the kitchen,” says Bell-Wilson. “The reward is that you went and you did it.” If you exercise for an hour or less, your best bet is to grab a bottle of water and eat at your next scheduled meal. “If it lasts longer, plan to have a snack in your locker or on your way home,” says Bell-Wilson.

5 pre-workout snack ideas
1. Half a chicken, turkey or lean roast beef sandwich on whole-wheat bread
2. Low-fat yogurt with a sliced banana
3. Low-fat string cheese and 6 whole-grain crackers
4. Hard-boiled eggs, yolks removed and replaced with hummus
5. Skim milk blended with frozen fruit to make a smoothie

5 post-workout replenishing meal ideas
1. One or two poached eggs on whole-wheat toast
2. Bean burrito: a whole-wheat tortilla filled with black beans, salsa and reduced-fat cheese
3. Stir-fried chicken and vegetables (try pepper, zucchini and carrot) over brown rice
4. Whole-wheat pasta tossed with chicken, broccoli and eggplant
5. Whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, with milk and fruit (such as a sliced banana)

Article By: Meredith Bergman and Amy Leibrock as appeared on WeightWatchers.com

 

Body Recomposition

Body Recomposition through diet and exercise…It CAN be done!!!

While body recomposition is difficult, it can be done. In fact, with the right approach, it’s actually pretty simple. That said, as you delve more deeply into any process, you will need to following new steps in order to progress. Taking these next steps, of course, leads to better results.

Part 1 of this series focused on approaching body recomposition through calorie cycling. While that is undoubtedly a great start, we’re going to take the next step and teach you how to cycle your macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) to make the entire process more effective.

Read more…