Fitness and Nutrition

Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand when you live an active lifestyle. You need the proper balance of the right kinds of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy and fats to ensure peak performance. In addition to eating well you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Now it goes without saying that when you are an athlete your workout is vital to your success.

If you are a body builder for example, then protein will be the bulk of your diet. Protein contains the amino acids that build muscle. There are several ways to get the 150 - 300 grams of protein recommended for building muscle mass. Using whey powder, soy milk or beans, eggs and of course meat are good way to reach that goal. While protein may be the largest portion on your plate, make sure not to neglect your other nutritional needs.

When you are an endurance athlete carbohydrates will be the main part of your nutritional needs. However, protein, fruits, vegetables, and good fats are also very important. A runner should aim to eat 60 - 65 percent of their total daily calories in carbohydrates. Make sure that the carbs you're eating are not empty ,but full of whole grains and fiber. The vitamin supplements that are most recommended for endurance athletes are vitamins C, E, and A. The most common mineral supplements for runners are calcium, iron, sodium and other electrolytes.

When thinking of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and fats make sure to eat the correct ones. As stated above protein can come in many forms, but when choosing your protein, choose mostly lean meats. As far as fruits and vegetables go, almost all of them are good forms of nutrition. However, some fruits are high in calories. A banana is an example of the kinds of fruits you should limit. A good carbohydrate is one that will give you lasting energy. 100% whole wheat or grains are great choices. While fats may seem like something an athlete would want to avoid, it is actually very important. Fats like olive oil and avocados help support joint health and brain function. Above all of this there is one nutritional need that all athletes must have. No matter what your fitness and nutritional needs are, keeping hydrated should be the number one goal. Proper hydration will keep you performing at your peak.
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