WE all know what’s healthy for us to eat, or at least we have a good idea. Our parents have been advising us from when we’re young and generally we know what’s bad and what’s good – whether or not we pay attention to that difference is another matter entirely.
Fruit and veg are good and most often anything processed is to be treated with caution if not avoided altogether. Now none of us are perfect, and the odd treat every now and then is no bad thing, as it will help to keep motivation up, but if you treat yourself once a day instead of once a week then you could be in for a shock.
The experts tell us that some fats and sugars are bad for us, so I don’t want to spend weeks writing about the do’s and the dont’s in that regard. Instead, I want to write about what food to eat pre-exercise, during exercise and what I feel is probably the most important of all – the food consumed post-exercise. Now when your body is feeling good and you want to continue performing like a finely-tuned engine, then this means eating the right foods at the right times. Not eating before can result in low blood sugar levels which will lead to fatigue and a wasted session. As the saying goes – ‘If you fuel correctly, you’ll train harder’. So, get the proper foods in and maximise your energy and gains.
Things to eat
Bananas are loaded with digestible carbohydrates and are packed with potassium. They are nature’s energy gel. Oats are full of fibre and gradually release carbs into the bloodstream. Organic or gluten-free oats are the best. A slice of wholegrain bread with jam or honey is a great source of carbohydrates. This is what Olympic athlete Mo Farah eats before training.
Fruit is high in carbs and Greek yogurt is packed with high quality protein. People tend to skip fruit and other foods that are high in carbs, but what happens is the protein doesn’t break down fast enough to become a fuel for a training session. The carbs from the fruit break down quicker and then the protein is used later to prevent muscle damage and help with muscle repair. So there you have it. Try to get some of these foods into you between 45 minutes and one hour before you head out the door for your walk or to the pitch for training and see how it works.