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Building your summer body – part 2!

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Looking Good, Feeling Great

Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Monday, 25th November 2019, 09:00

Following on from last month’s article (which you can read here), for those who are focused on building or maintaining a high-performance body or for those whose aesthetics are the key driver for sculpting a summer body, a more complex nutrition plan needs to be designed.

For most people, eating a nutritionally balanced meal one to two hours before exercise, and another within a similar period after exercise, will adequately meet their nutritional needs.

A more bespoke approach is required for some people

However, for some people this will not be enough and a more bespoke approach is required. A good Sports Nutrition coach or Registered Dietician can assist with designing a plan that meets your unique nutritional requirements and appropriate timings to help you meet your performance goals.

The best way to provide the level of nutrition you require to fuel your efforts is to optimise your feeding windows around your training, while ensuring that your regular meals are as nutrient dense and healthy as possible.

If there is a long gap between your training and a meal, the more substantial the meal can be; the closer you are to a workout, the more important it is that your meal is easy to digest – bananas, shakes and smoothies are good options.

In terms of timing, you could look at pre-workout foods or supplements that will fuel your training and subsequent recovery. These will ideally be easily absorbed/digested so you don’t have any gastric discomfort.

Even among advanced fitness enthusiasts, eating during exercise is only advisable/ beneficial in specific training situations, so you won’t need that shake during your spin class or CrossFit session!

If, however, you are engaged in long duration training or endurance events (anything up to and over two hours in duration) there would be a very strong case for some in-training or event nutrition.

Research the best method and sources of nutrients for your body

The rise of precision nutrition via specialists and performance supplements has become a huge business and, with good research, can be of benefit to you in your search for optimal nutrition. The key areas to consider as you research the best method and sources of nutrients for fuelling your body are foods and a timing regimen that provides you with:

• Optimal hydration (water and electrolytes)

• Sustained energy release (carbohydrates and fats)

• Performance boost (fuel mix)

• Recovery benefits (fuel mix)

• Muscle building and repair (protein)

• Wellness and health benefits (minerals, vitamins, fibre)

Fuel mix refers to the combination of carbohydrates, fats, minerals and protein.

Replenish energy and hydration levels

Post-workout, a good meal or supplement is critical to replenishing energy and hydration levels, sustaining a healthy metabolism, refuelling, repairing and rebuilding muscle, and therefore ensuring improved performance over time.

You will need to ensure that you eat at least two well-balanced meals (solid food rather than shakes/smoothies) during the rest of the day.

Some people find eating ‘main’ meals difficult or just prefer eating smaller meals more frequently over the space of a day – this is also fine.

Whether you are advanced in your training journey, have specific performance goals, or are just highly motivated to achieve a certain aesthetic, having a more focused nutritional approach will benefit you enormously.

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