Did you know that Michael Phelps eats about 12,000 kcal per day? He and other athletes need a lot of energy and a whole lot of nutrients to be able to train, regenerate after exercise and take care of the muscles. And you? What you need?

Of course, we, ordinary mortals, do not train as much and as intensely as athletes. This does not mean, however, that by leading an active lifestyle, we should not care about the way we eat.

How much protein do you need?

Protein is necessary for muscle building and for regeneration. People regularly practicing sports need more protein than those who spend their lives sitting. “Sports diet should consist of 20-25% of protein. If the total calorie content of the diet is 2600 kcal per day, then it should be 130-163 g of protein. People who exercise less intensively should compose their diet so that 10-20% of energy comes from protein.

Which protein best serves the muscles?

The whey protein is considered to be the best assimilated, although studies conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch cast doubt on this fact. It was found that the combination of whey protein, soy protein and casein (milk protein) most effectively regenerates muscles. These three different proteins contain amino acids that remain available in the body for a long time, so that muscle recovery can be more effective. This combination of proteins contains some protein preparations for athletes (you need to check on the product label!), From which you can prepare a cocktail.

Do you need to eat something before training?

Yes. Fasting training increases the risk that the body will begin to draw energy from the muscles or that you will feel tired more quickly. Therefore, before the effort it is good to eat a light, small but nutritious meal, especially if the training is to take place in the morning after a night of rest.

Does caffeine support physical exertion?

Caffeine is a double-edged sword – it supports physical effort, but in the case of athletes, too much of it in the blood disqualifies a competitor due to doping! Coffee or caffeinated drinks add energy and can help amateur athletes. And because, at the moment, coffee and tea are not considered as drainage beverages, they can be counted into the daily amount of liquids drunk.

Who needs sports drinks and who does not?

Drinks for athletes can be useful to anyone who makes an effort of more than 60 minutes. Although the producers suggest that sports drinks support the shorter duration of effort, there is no reason to use them during shorter training sessions. Water is enough. On hot days, when shorter training causes profuse sweating, a sports drink will make it possible to replenish lost micro-nutrients. But be careful! If you are losing weight, count the calorific value of the drink to the calorie diet and remember that such a drink contains a lot of sugar, and often sweeteners.

Do regular exercisers need larger amounts of vitamins and minerals 1) and should reach for dietary supplements?

Usually, when the body’s energy needs increase, the demand for vitamins and microelements increases with it. Therefore, regular exercisers should concentrate on incorporating the most nutritious products of red meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, whole grains, fruit and vegetables into the diet. The packet of cookies provides only energy, but it lacks valuable nutrients.

Sometimes, when a carefully composed diet does not provide all the micronutrients, you can help with taking dietary supplements. However, it is worth remembering that the best absorbed vitamins are found in food, not in tablets.

How to renew energy reserves after exercise?

After intense exercise, the body needs fluids, carbohydrates and protein, but that does not mean that you have to sit down to a hearty dinner! The meal can be light and nutritious, and those who are slimming should include its calorific value to the daily calorific value of the diet. A common mistake is to incorrectly estimate caloric expenditure associated with exercise – many people believe that they burned more calories than their body used for exercise and increase the calorific value of the diet beyond the actual energy requirement of the body. This can cause weight gain or stopping the weight loss process.

So what do you eat after training? During 30 minutes after the end of the effort, eat a carbohydrate-rich meal – especially if the training was of a stamina nature – which will result in the rapid renewal of glycogen stores in the muscles. No later than 2 hours after the effort, eat a meal containing protein. You can also eat one meal including carbohydrates and protein, such as a vegetable and fruit salad with chicken or egg and a slice of wholemeal bread.

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