Everyone has a different fitness goal. Maybe you want to improve flexibility. Maybe you want to bench more weight. Or perhaps you’re trying to lose some fluff around your midsection.
You might be tempted to think that physical exercise will get you to your goal. And while that’s a big part of the equation, it’s not the only part.
Consider the Extremes
How would you feel if water was the only thing you consumed for three days? You may have even done something like this as part of a cleanse. And while it’s good to clear your body of toxins, this isn’t the best way to achieve your fitness goals. In this scenario, imagine how it would feel to do your regular workout. You’d probably be too fatigued to do anything. That’s because our bodies and brains need nutrients, carbohydrates, and proteins to function.
You’re probably tired just thinking about such an extreme. So, grab a high-protein snack, and let’s explore the reasons why diet is so important.
The Role of Carbohydrates
Carbs have gotten a bad rap, but they’re a necessary part of our diet. Carbohydrates provide your muscles with energy. This is why you feel so fatigued when you try to work out on an empty stomach.
The reason carbs have a bad reputation is that many of them are packed with sugar, which will also help you pack on pounds.
When you’re planning a healthy diet, be sure to choose your carbohydrates wisely. Good complex carbohydrate choices include foods like:
- Brown rice
- Kidney beans
Why Protein is a Powerhouse
You probably already know that protein is important to your fitness goals because it seems like every workout supplement includes it. Your muscles are actually made up of protein, so a protein-rich diet can help you increase muscle mass and strength. Protein helps your body build new muscle fibers and repair the ones that have been damaged during workouts.
For the best results, try to get about 2 grams of protein per kilogram of your weight each day.
Healthy sources of protein include:
- Greek yogurt
- Lean beef
Vitamins and Minerals
You’ll get some essential vitamins and minerals from eating healthy carbs and proteins, but to truly achieve your fitness goals, you’ll need to add some fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Iron helps increase your stamina, and vitamin C helps repair tissues and decrease recovery time. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, so it indirectly impacts stamina too. Sodium and potassium help keep a healthy fluid balance, which can keep your muscles from cramping.
Naturally, you will also need to remain hydrated to achieve your fitness goals. Proper hydration will help keep your heart rate from climbing too high and will keep your body temperature regulated.
As with everything, your body is a direct reflection of what you put into it. If you eat a balanced diet with all the right foods, you’ll start each workout with the best odds for success.