When starting your fitness journey, you should be aware of other factors that play an important role in the same and can help you achieve your goals effectively. Nutrition is among such factors. Proper nutrition can help you get the nutrients that your body requires in order to function properly. Therefore, you should pay attention to the nutritional value of the food you consume.
Many individuals buy whey protein in India as soon as they buy a gym membership. However, improper use and an unbalanced diet may cause more harm than good. Two points to consider here:
- Protein is not the only nutrient that you should focus on when following an active lifestyle.
- Excess of anything is bad. Ergo, limited quantities of each nutrient should be consumed in order to make the most out of its benefits.
Here, we share a list of nutrients as well as their sources that can help accelerate your fitness journey:
Protein is considered to be an important building block for muscles. It also provides your body the energy it needs to carry out day-to-day activities. Additionally, it aids the recovery of muscles after a rigorous workout. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight to help achieve your goals.
You can get enough protein through various food sources including eggs, fish, lean meats, and so on. Some vegetarian food sources may include lentils, beans, and nuts. If you are unable to get enough amounts of the nutrient through your diet alone, you can rely on dietary aid such as ON whey protein powder or MuscleBlaze whey protein powder.
Carbohydrates are a type of the major macronutrients that your body requires to produce energy. They also help with the replenishment of glycogen stores in the muscles. Glycogen is a form of glucose that is stored in the muscles as well as liver. When the body requires energy, it is processed into glucose, and released into the bloodstream to be used as a fuel for high-intensity training.
Carbohydrates are usually considered bad, however, those are the processed forms of carbs that are unhealthy. You should focus on the consumption of complex carbohydrates that have the nutritional value intact. Sources of healthy carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and so on.
- Healthy Fats
Healthy types of fats can help you maintain healthy hormone levels in the body, and thereby support your overall health. When glycogen stores become depleted due to high-intensity workouts, the body can rely on fats to get the energy it requires. Sources of healthy fats may include nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and certain types of fish (including salmon, herring, mackerel, etc.)
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient well-known for its ability to keep your bones healthy. Additionally, vitamin D also aids better absorption of calcium in the body. Therefore, adequate levels of the nutrient can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis. It also helps improve muscle function as well as strength, thereby helping you with your fitness goals.
The most well-known source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. However, food sources like fish rich in healthy fats, egg yolks, and certain fortified dairy or non-dairy products can help you get enough amounts of the vitamin.
- Vitamin C
Popularly known for its antioxidant properties, vitamin C is a great addition to your diet if you are a fitness enthusiast who puts a lot of stress on his or her body. It plays an important role in the production of collagen, an important protein repair as well as maintenance of connective tissues including tendons, ligaments and skin. Additionally, the nutrient helps with iron absorption, aids hydration, and keeps your immune system healthy.
You can get adequate amounts of vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges, limes, etc. Berries and leafy green vegetables can also be good sources of the vitamin.
Calcium is a type of micronutrient, the nutrients that are not required by the body in large amounts. It is widely known for its ability to maintain strong bones as well as teeth. Maintenance of adequate levels of bone strength and density is important to prevent injuries (such as fractures) during workouts. Calcium also plays an important role in muscle function including contraction and relaxation, having an impact on physical performance.
Dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and some fortified food items can be consumed in order to get the required amounts of calcium through your diet.
Iron is an important component of haemoglobin, and supports the transfer of oxygen throughout the body, and is therefore essential for the production of energy. It also plays an important role in the repair process of muscles and tissues, reduction of soreness, and prevention of injuries. Additionally, it can help with the proper functioning of your immune system as well as boost endurance. An iron deficiency may result in decrease in endurance and increase in fatigue.
Foods like leafy green vegetables, poultry, and red meat can be excellent sources of the mineral.
So these were some of the important nutrients that you should include in your diet when following a fitness regime. You should focus on creating well-balanced meals for yourself with the calorie count in check based on your fitness goals.
You can also consult a certified nutritionist for better guidance or customised diet plans. Just keep in mind that you should not exceed the recommended amounts of intake for the nutrients.
Do share your views and experiences with the use of these nutrients in the comments below!