[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
A sick body commands, a healed body obeysJean-Jacques Rousseau
Sporty amateur or high level, manage your diet and adapt it to your sporting practice is essential to improve your performance and avoid injuries, cramps or other consequences. He is It is therefore important to know the needs of the body so that the recovery but also before and during physical activity goes well.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Fortunately, sports nutrition experts exist and the best is to go see a health professional specializing in the subject. The article will therefore present the foods and drinks to be favored before, during and after physical exertion as well as some tips for basics of healthy lifestyle to maintain in order to remain efficient.
Foods and drinks to favor to improve your sporting performance
Before sports practice
You will need to provide energy for your muscles, which will allow them to be more efficient during physical exercise. To do this, you must focus on complex carbohydrates, but not too rich in fiber to avoid digestive problems. Opt for non-complete starchy foods like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc… Avoid raw vegetables, opt for a very sweet fruit instead, also avoid legumes and opt for eggs, white meats or a dairy product. This will provide you with proteins without the cooked fats which cause difficult digestion.
It is best to consume starchy foods with cooked vegetables and a low protein and low fat intake. You can take a compote or yogurt for dessert. Be careful, you should eat around 3 hours before training or 2 hours before if it is just a small snack.
During sports practice
For a workout lasting an hour or an hour and a half, a bottle of water is essential to ensure optimal rehydration during exercise. If the training exceeds an hour and a half, you can turn to an exercise drink. Exercise drinks contain simple sugars that are absorbed quickly to provide fuel to the muscles and optimize rehydration.
Its drinks are also called energy drinks (Powerrade, Isostar, etc.), they contain, in addition to sugars, minerals and amino acids. They are isotonic, that is to say they provide elements necessary to compensate for losses and therefore rehydrate optimally.
Not to be confused with energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster, etc.) which are too rich in sugar and exciting, because they contain caffeine. Drinks that are too sweet and consumed inappropriately do not rehydrate and on the contrary risk leading to more injuries or cardiovascular problems.
Isotonic drink recipe, simple and economical:
One third of grape juice (100% pure juice) for 2 thirds of water or 3 tablespoons of quality syrup for one liter of water. A pinch of salt for a liter of drink
After sports practice
During physical effort, the muscles produce lactic acid. This acidity is completely harmless and, contrary to popular belief, it will be reused and even very useful to the muscles during the recovery phase. Lactic acid becomes fuel for the tired muscle and allows it to retain a minimum of energy afterwards. It is therefore used very quickly and does not have time to accumulate in the muscle fiber before being reused, but its accumulation is what we can feel when the muscle no longer “holds together” in the face of effort. too intense for him. Hence the interest in knowing your limits.
However, the main thing during recovery is to rehydrate, drinking plenty of water will help compensate for losses and why not finish your exercise drink. In addition to this essential effort, you will also have to eat. Indeed, in the three hours following the effort, the body will “rebuild” itself, that is to say it reforms its muscle fuel reserves, carbohydrates, and rebuilds the muscle fibers destroyed during exercise. effort, proteins. These two elements, carbohydrates and proteins, must be provided in sufficient quantity to allow the body to recover well and improve its performance the next session.
Snack Examples after sports practice:
- 1 cereal bar and 1 apple
- 1 small carton of milk or chocolate soy, 1 banana and 1 handful of dried fruits
- 1 drinking yogurt and 2 clementines
- 2 slices of gingerbread and 1 bunch of grapes
- 1 milk bread with 3 squares of chocolate and 1 pear
- 1 smoothie: soy or cow’s milk, banana, peanut butter
The ideal lifestyle to optimize your sporting performance.
To avoid any risk of fracture or injury during your physical activity, a healthy lifestyle will be essential, not only on training days, but also on recovery days, vacations or days off. Most of the time, this is when we observe the most false routes and performance decreases.
The first thing to do is to eat a balanced, varied and seasonal diet. For athletes, it is essential to consume fruits and vegetables in abundance, to compensate for the production of free radicals produced during recurring physical activity. The need for antioxidants is higher among athletes, so don’t forget to favor foods, organic if possible, to avoid the side effects of consuming chemical products.
Have a quality protein intake by favoring eggs, yogurt, quality meats, dried vegetables, small oily fish and oilseeds. Amino acid or protein supplementation is not necessary, even for a high-level athlete, all of its nutrients are found naturally in food and it is much cheaper. In addition, supplementation without prior nutritional analysis can lead to a dietary imbalance, but also to deficiencies in other amino acids, nutrients or micronutrients.
The second thing to do is to have a healthy and balanced biological clock. You should prioritize waking up daily at around the same time, as well as regular and sufficient sleep. Any sleep-related imbalance can lead to a loss of muscle mass and a reduction in performance. Restorative sleep brings energy and efficiency into your day as well as production of growth hormone which helps stimulate the production of muscle mass.
Avoid alcohol or tobacco, in addition to its well-known harmful effects on health, its products increase oxidative stress and lead to an increased need for antioxidants. In addition, they will disrupt your biological clock and impact your sleep as well as your diet.
And the last thing to do is learn to relax and take time for yourself. This healthy practice helps reduce the oxidative stress experienced daily. In addition, it allows the body to rebuild itself, to recover well after sporting effort and to create feelings of well-being. It is essential that the meal, snack or breakfast are part of your moments of relaxation, because in addition to improving your mood in general, this relaxation allows you to digest better, chew well and absorb nutrients and micronutrients well. consumed.