When you exercise regularly, it is essential to follow a healthy diet to get the most out of it. For those who like to run or go running, we offer the advice of the expert and marathon runner coach Sam Murphy.
The intake of fruits and vegetables is even more important when you exercise regularly. The vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals they contain help maintain the immune system, decreasing the chances of succumbing to colds and infections; and provide antioxidants, which mitigate the damage caused by training. Vary between different types of vegetables and vegetables and try to opt for light colored ones, which are usually richer in nutrients.
Carbohydrates are the best fuel for runners and, since only a limited amount can be stored in the muscles and liver (although this amount increases with training), stocks must be constantly replenished. Try to include a good source of carbohydrates in each meal. As a guide, active people should consume between 5 and 7g of carbohydrates per kilogram of their body weight per day.
There is evidence that caffeine improves athletes’ performance in terms of endurance. Recent research suggests that it improves muscle contractility, reduces the rate of perceived exertion and improves the ability to mental concentration, allowing the athlete to endure more time without pain and fatigue. A dose of 1-3mg per kilogram of athlete’s body weight should be sufficient. As a guide, a can of Red Bull contains about 80mg; an espresso, 65mg. ideally, consume caffeine 60-90 minutes before exercising.
Replenish the body after the race
After a long exercise session, take some carbohydrates in the next 30 minutes, which is when glycogen stores are more receptive. If you wait a lot, the entrance is closed. Research indicates that the combination of carbohydrates with some protein maximizes replenishment. A dairy-based drink is a good option.
Do not exercise on an empty stomach
If you run early in the morning, or at night without taking anything from noon, it is advisable to have a high glycemic index (GI) snack one hour before to get fast energy.
Do not take risks with new foods before a competition
When it comes to dinner and breakfast before a competition, it is better to stick to what is known. We can use the workouts to determine which foods are best for us, so we will know what to eat before the competition. Once the competition has started, do not experiment with candy or bars unless you have practiced eating during training.
Not drink only water
Water is not the best option for exercises of more than one hour. An isotonic sports drink not only moisturizes, but also provides energy and electrolytic salts to compensate for its loss through sweat. A study of 98 marathon runners compared the effects of a sports drink with a placebo: runners who actually drank the sports drink were able to run at a faster pace, especially during the last 10km of the race (in which most started slow down your pace).
Do not drink if you are not thirsty
Over the last decade, cases of exercise-induced hypernatremia have increased in long-distance careers because of drinking more fluid than necessary. Weighing before and after exercise is a good way to determine our fluid needs, as well as controlling urine. To avoid hypernatremia, it is better to opt for sports drinks instead of water, drink little and often, instead of large amounts at once, and do not drink if you do not feel thirsty.