Why Nutrition Is An Important Part Of Your Exercise Plan
Updated: Apr 13
If you've ever felt sluggish during a workout, it could be because you haven't fueled your body properly. 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:
how often you work out
No matter what your nutrition plan is, it’s important to understand the ratio of macros your body needs, or the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, will also affect your performance and balance out your diet.
It’s no secret, especially in the fitness industry, that protein consumption is essential to any diet, especially if you're trying to build muscle or lose weight. 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.
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, or vegetarian options like beans and tofu. When planning out your meals, you should aim for about 30% of your daily caloric intake to be from protein.
Carbohydrates have got a bad reputation in recent “health trends,” but they actually play an important role in your body. They provide the energy your muscles and body need not only to perform exercises, but also to do your daily activities.
Carbs 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. When you think about what types of carbs to include in your diet, you should focus on complex carbs such as:
Whole grain bread
It’s the simple carbs such as sugary treats, white bread, and french fries that you’ll want to limit.
When we talk about including fats in 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.
These are found in foods such as peanut butter, nuts, avocado, and even certain types of fish such as salmon, herring and trout. These types of fat are considered “heart healthy,” and should make up somewhere around 30% of your diet.
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. For example:
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
Making sure you're getting enough of the essential vitamins and minerals in your food is key to a well-rounded diet.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.