The Importance of Nutrition in Your Fitness Journey

Importance of nutrition

There’s no doubt that nutrition and fitness go hand in hand. It’s virtually impossible to achieve your fitness goals and sculpt the body you want without eating healthy meals and absorbing the nutrients your body requires. Therefore, the importance of nutrition cannot be overstated.

This article explores the critical role nutrition plays in enhancing your fitness and athletic performance, from macronutrients and micronutrients, their functions, and their impact on muscle recovery, energy levels and your overall health. Read on for practical advice on pre-workout and post-workout meal times, hydration and integrating a balanced diet to support physical activity.

The role nutrition plays in improving your workouts

No matter what your fitness goals are, good nutrition is the basis for success. Whether you simply want to trim down or are training for a marathon, it’s essential to feed your body what it needs. Along with improving performance and speeding up recovery times, eating a well-balanced diet also helps to reduce the likelihood of you getting injured while training, along with boosting your mood.

Superfoods are what you want to focus on. Things like complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats are essential for achieving your fitness targets, so too are fruits and vegetables. Also, these foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As an added bonus, some superfoods even boost your metabolism to enhance fat burning.

Why is good nutrition essential?

Now that we’ve established that nutrition plays a pivotal role in fitness, let’s dig deeper to discover exactly how it helps you.

It fuels the body

We are what we eat, so it’s vital that you feed your body the fuel it needs to function at optimal levels. In order to have the energy you need and to enhance muscle health and growth, focus on meals loaded with proteins, fats and complex carbs. These food groups will also boost your strength levels. It’s a good idea to follow your workouts with similar meals.

Nutrition enhances muscle growth and recovery

Proper nutrition is important for muscle development and recovery post-workout. Protein feeds muscle growth and strength and an adequate amount of protein also plays a role in muscle repair. Muscle tissue and fibres break down when you exercise and then rebuild themselves when you’re resting.

Maintain a healthy weight

To maintain a healthy weight, thought needs to go into what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat. You’ll want to use a calorie calculator to determine how many calories you are taking in each day and how many you actually need to maintain your ideal body weight. Focus on a diet rich in nutrients and low in calories to achieve this outcome.

Improved athletic performance

Absorbing the right nutrients at the correct time will give your athletic performance a real boost. For example, a meal rich in carbs consumed a few hours prior to working out or playing sport will increase your energy levels. Focus on foods containing whole grains and not processed foods.

Nutrition reduces the risk of chronic disease

You’ll want to do everything in your power to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes or other chronic conditions. Focusing on eating healthy every day, including foods rich in antioxidants, will go a long way towards maintaining good health. Diseases are not the only chronic conditions you could develop either. When you exercise regularly, you also run the risk of developing chronic physical injuries. Nutrition helps you avoid ongoing injury concerns.

Good nutrition boosts your immune system

A diet rich in vegetables and fruit will certainly give you the vitamins and minerals required to keep your immune system healthy. The less downtime you have due to illness means the more time you have to work out and get closer to your goals.

Enhanced mental health

A balanced diet not only gives you a physical boost, but feeds the brain what it needs to maintain clarity, mood and intellect. It reduces stress, anxiety and depression too.

What are macronutrients?

Our bodies require macronutrients in large quantities to ensure we have the energy to get through every day. Healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates are the food groups to focus on.

What are micronutrients?

We consume micronutrients in very small amounts but they are equally as important. They are mainly vitamins and minerals. When you consume foods rich in macronutrients, you’ll naturally be consuming essential micronutrients as well. Focus on a diet of fruit and vegetables to ensure you’re getting the micronutrients you need for ongoing good health.

Best times to eat pre and post-workout

While it can vary from person to person, nutritionists advise eating a mixture of protein and carbs around 1 to 4 hours before a workout. To get the most value and growth post-workout, eat a similar meal about 60 minutes after a gym or training session. Experiment with it though to discover what works best for you and your routine.

Hydration plays a key role

Remaining hydrated while working out maintains your core body temperature so you don’t overheat. Water also helps to lubricate your joints and aids in the digestion and absorption of vital nutrients. Aim to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.

Get your nutritional needs at Live Fit Gym

Visit Reception and take advantage of our fantastic range of Live Fit meals, healthy smoothies and protein drinks.  Give your body the boost it needs pre and post-workout. Get in touch for more information on our facilities and services.