Even people who really don’t care know the two key components to a healthy lifestyle; healthy food and exercise. If you want a healthy and dependable body, then you can’t have one without the other. Those of us who are passionate about fitness are usually pretty assured that we’re getting everything our bodies need, but are we really? Here are some key things you need to be getting after a workout.
First of all, healthy fats. No that isn’t a typo! At some point in the noughties, I’m sure you were caught up in a low-fat diet craze. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from these, it’s that they’re completely flawed! It may surprise you to learn this, but eating less fats won’t make you any more healthy. In fact, fat-free products have often been found to use sugars and flour to substitute for the usual ingredients. It might sound strange, but everyone needs fats in a well balanced diet, especially those who are working towards a certain body. For the healthiest possible sources of fats, stick to avocados and walnuts. Try to save the bacon as a reward!
Protein is another hugely important nutrient. Seen as you’re reading this blog, I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about the importance of protein for building muscles. Whether you’re looking to gain mass or not, you should be making a point to get enough protein in your diet. When you’re getting the right amount of protein, you’ll reduce your risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure and obesity. For us fitness freaks, it also ensures our exercises burn the flab on our bodies, and not our muscles. Eggs and meat are probably the best sources, so getting your fill can be hard if you’re a veggie. However, there are still many animal-friendly substitutes you can use. Nuts, quinoa, and legumes are bursting with protein. Wherever you get it from, make sure you don’t neglect this integral nutrient.
Finally, electrolytes. This is something you really can’t afford to miss if you’re a competitive athlete. There’s nothing worse than being at the head of a race or something similar, and being hit by a cramp. In the large majority of cases, this is caused by an electrolytes imbalance. If you were wondering, electrolytes are minerals in our blood, which regulate the amount of water in our bodies. Various sports drinks use their electrolyte content as a key selling point, but don’t be taken in by the hype! Whole foods are a perfectly good source of electrolytes, and come with a range of other nutrients. Also, downing sports drinks all day may end up with your levels getting too high, which can be just as damaging as a deficiency. Odds are, you don’t need that sports drink to keep up a healthy electrolyte count. However, if you’re doing vigorous exercise for over an hour at a time, they could be a good idea.
Make sure you’re getting these three nutrients. A stricter look at your diet can work miracles for your overall fitness!