• Joe Rindone

Why Nutrition Is An Important Part Of Your Exercise Plan

Updated: Aug 1

Have you ever felt sluggish during a workout? There's a reason why your body sometimes feels like it would rather be sitting out your workout. You probably have fueled your body properly to give it the energy it needs to complete your workout.

Just like exercise, nutrition plays a major role in keeping your body healthy and working to maximize its capabilities. In fact, what you eat (and how much of it) can actually have a considerable effect on how you work out.

Your nutrition goals should be based on a few different factors such as:

No matter what your nutrition plan is, it’s important to understand the ratio of macros your body needs.

What's a Macronutrient?

Macronutrients, often called macros for short, are the building blocks of any diet. They're the proteins, carbohydrates and fats that give you the energy you need to live your life. As important as macronutrients are micronutrients. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform its best.

How Much Protein Should I Eat?

It’s no secret that protein consumption is essential to any diet, especially if you're trying to build muscle or lose weight. Your body needs protein to build and repair:

  • Muscles

  • Organs

  • Other tissues in your body

  • Your immune system

  • Hormones

  • Neurotransmitters

  • Structures inside each of your cells

Protein is essential during workouts as it is the main component of muscle tissue and helps build new muscle fiber while also repairing damaged muscle. It also triggers your body to feel full. A recent study found that "people will naturally want to continue to eat until they’ve gotten enough protein, which can lead to overeating when your meal is unbalanced."

Including high-quality protein in your diet allows for muscle growth over time, which ultimately strengthens your body for your future workouts. Lean proteins often come from meats such as chicken, fish, turkey, and vegan or vegetarian protein options like beans, nuts, seeds and tofu. When planning your meals, aim for about 30% of your daily caloric intake to be from protein.

While it is not known exactly how much protein is too much, overconsumption of protein can cause kidney stones. So while you want to make sure you're getting what you need, you don't want to overdo it.

Which Carbs Should I Eat?

Over the years, carbohydrates have got a bad reputation, but they actually play an important role in your body and are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Carbs provide the energy your muscles and body need not only to perform exercises, but also to do your daily activities.

Carbohydrates not only fuel your workout before you start, but they also accumulate in your muscle cells and liver as a storage form of starch called glycogen, which can then be called on during a workout to even further fuel your body.

There are two types of carbs - simple and complex. Simple carbs are already in the form of sugar. They are found in foods like:

  • Honey

  • Fruit

  • Lactose-containing dairy products

As you're doing your meal planning, you'll want to focus on including complex carbohydrates. These are larger carbohydrate molecules that take your body longer to digest, releasing glucose into your bloodstream at a slower rate. They include:

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Whole grain bread

  • Brown rice

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

It’s the simple carbs like as sugary treats, white bread, and french fries that you’ll want to limit.

What Are Healthy Fats?

Despite what you might have heard, fats are actually a critical part of a balanced diet. However, when we talk about incorporating fats into your diet, we aren’t talking about loading up on butter, fatty beef, donuts, and fried foods.

The fats you want to consume are healthy fats, also known as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. They're found in foods like:

  • Peanut butter

  • Nuts

  • Avocado

  • Salmon

  • Herring

  • Trout

These types of fat are considered “heart healthy,” and should make up somewhere around 30% of your diet.

Am I Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are key to energy production, muscle contraction, and your metabolism. Deficiencies in any vitamins or minerals will affect your ability to work out the way you want to. And more seriously, a lack of micronutrients can lead to a number of major illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.

The consequences of a lack of micronutrients when you're working out include:

  • An iron deficiency makes your body fatigued, and therefore you may not be able to work out as intensely as you would like to

  • Vitamin C can help your body absorb iron and fight tiredness

  • If your sodium intake is too little, it can lead to cramping or muscle spasms as you workout

Although taking a multivitamin seems like a surefire way to get all of your vitamins and minerals, research has shown over and over that they don't really work and the best way to get all your micronutrients is through your food, making a well-rounded diet that much more important.

Get a Customized Nutrition Plan

If you’d like to learn more about nutrition and how it goes hand in hand with your workout routine to produce results, contact us today! Call us at 781-643-0002 or email

Joe Rindone, NCPT is a certified personal trainer and the Founder of Inspire Fitness Studio in Arlington, MA. Joe's passion for fitness has motivated him to become one Greater Boston's best personal trainers. An athlete throughout high school and college, Joe has always enjoyed being active. Currently he enjoys road races, working with his boxing coach, kettlebell training and getting out for a round of golf in his spare time.

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