What is metabolism?
This is ultimately a result of interactions among genetics, diet and physical activity. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts what you consume into energy. Even when at rest the body needs energy for functions such as breathing, circulating blood and repairing cells. When “energy in” (food and drink) goes down, “energy out” (exercise expenditure) goes down to match it. You will burn fewer calories in response to eating less. This is how the body prevents unwanted weight loss and starvation. Likewise, when “energy in” goes up, “energy out” tends to go up too.
Eating before a workout:
Improve performance and achieve your goals. Good nutrition can help your body perform better and recover faster after every workout. Optimal nutrient intake prior to exercise will not only help you maximise your performance but also minimize muscle damage. Timing your pre-workout meal is key. To maximise the results of your training, try to eat a complete meal containing carbohydrates, protein and fat 2-3 hours before you exercise. Carbohydrates will help maximise the body’s ability to use glycogen to fuel short and high intensity exercises, while fat helps fuel your body for longer exercise sessions. Eating protein helps improve muscle protein synthesis, preventing muscle damage and promoting recovery.
Good pre-workout meals include:
- Lean protein with brown rice and roasted vegetables
- Sandwich on wholemeal, lean protein and salad
- High protein shake
Eating after a workout:
Consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as when you eat before. When you are working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in the muscle becoming partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles will also break down and damage. After your workout, your body is trying to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow these muscle proteins.
Eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise will help your body do this faster. It is particularly important to eat carbohydrates and protein after your workout. Consuming an adequate amount of protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. It also gives the building blocks to build new muscle tissue. Carbohydrates help with recovery.
As you use glycogen stores as fuel during exercise, consuming carbohydrates after your workout helps to replenish them. Insulin secretion, which promotes glycogen synthesis, is better stimulated when carbs and proteins are consumed at the same time.
Timing post workout – the body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise. It is recommended eating within 45 minutes. in fact the delay of carb consumption by as little as two hours after a workout may lead to as much as 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis.
Good post-workout meals include:
- Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables
- Salmon with roasted sweet potato
- Egg omelette with avocado on toast
- Cottage cheese and fruits
Good sources of protein
Proteins are the main building blocks of our bodies. Protein sources generally speaking are from animals, such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy. It you are a vegan or vegetarian, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources as we've discussed in another blog.
The following foods are good sources of protein:
- Animal or plant based protein powder
- Eggs & egg whites
- Greek yoghurt
Good sources of carbs
Our body needs carbohydrates to give us the energy we need to perform well at the gym or any workouts.
The following are good sources of carbohydrates:
- Sweet potato
- Brown rice
- Wholemeal pasta
- Wholemeal breads
Good sources of fats
It is important to add healthy fats in your balanced meals. High fat foods are nothing to be afraid of. Including these in yourr diet creates a sense of fullness, slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, and adds flavor to food.
The following are good sources of fats:
- Olive oil
- Almond butter