For many of us (unless you’re running marathons on playing professional sport), we should often have enough glycogen in our system from the day before to get us through our session. A piece of low GI fruit like kiwi or berries or a small protein drink made with water 30 minutes prior can also stabilise energy levels if you need it and get you powering through your 60 minutes session. Studies also show that drinking coffee or green tea 30 minutes to an hour before your workout results in longer endurance, faster times, less exertion, less fatigue, and more rapid recovery — up to 30 percent better in each category Caffeine also, breaks down fat, freeing fatty acids which are immediately burned.
If your exercise bouts are longer, then make sure to take along carb/electrolyte replacements to get you through. Some ideas could be coconut water, banana, passion fruit or orange juice that are rich in minerals such as potassium and magnesium to help regulate fluid balance and for muscle contraction.
Hydrate Well Begin your workout well hydrated 500 ml of water consumed 15 – 30 minutes before training is ideal, then frequent sips during your workout session. Make sure to hydrate properly after your workout to counteract dehydration. Exercise sessions over 1 hour may need additional electrolytes during and after the session to help with recovery. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends you replace 1.5 litres of fluid for each kilogram of body weight lost. Recovering with pure coconut water replaces both sugars, electrolytes and water lost during high intensity activity...be careful of packaged varieties as many contained added sugar, and they are pasteurised. Straight from the coconut is best!
Repair and Recover Your body needs protein for repair, quality carbs to replenish glycogen (choose foods rich in magnesium and potassium that are necessary for nerve and muscle contraction). Consumption of small protein rich meals 10 – 25g of protein at each time throughout the day after your training session is the best for protein synthesis. Good protein sources are fish, beans, yoghurt, grass-fed and game meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and protein sups.. Good carb sources are fresh fruit and vegetables including banana, oranges, papaya, kiwi fruit, pumpkin, spinach, sea vegetables, green beans and sweet potato that are good food sources of potassium and magnesium.
Prevent Workout Burnout Remember to listen to your body and find your balance. Alternate the intensity of your training, so you’re not training like a crazy obsessed person every single day, otherwise you’ll soon burn out, get sick and give up. Over-exercising and hard dieting have both physiological and psychological outcomes. Your immune system will suffer and you will get sick easily. You’ll be tired most of the time, and you won’t be able to sleep properly, eat properly or train properly.
Common symptoms of burnout are: elevated morning heart rate - chronic fatigue - an increase in normal body temperature - a greater susceptibility to colds - difficulty sleeping - increased anxiety - joint and muscle injuries.
Enjoy the journey that exercising and healthy eating will take you on. Learn to take days off to relax and recharge, and enjoy the experience! It’s the only way you’ll be able to maintain a healthy, balanced exercise routine for the rest of your life.