Endurance training, also known as cardiovascular or strength training is an exercise that requires working against resistance to build up the strength of muscle groups. The exercise is usually done aerobically for long periods of time and is intense enough to improve fitness. Running, cycling, swimming, playing sports such as tennis, basketball, soccer are all examples of endurance training. Not only is endurance training great for weight loss but also carries a lot of other benefits such as improved metabolism, diabetic benefits and in all, improves overall fitness.
Eating right is extremely important in order to remain fit and healthy. Endurance athletes usually have particularly high energy needs. Although calorie needs tend to vary according to age, weight, gender, daily activities and other factors, a sound nutrition program that meets all energy and weight goals is vital. Energy bars and salt pills are, although, helpful for a sudden boost of energy but a high-quality diet is equally important for staying healthy. Below mentioned are nutritional rules that need to be considered for Endurance Training;
- Eat Enough
Usually endurance athletes finish their day with a calorie deficit solely because of the fear of gaining weight. This leads to nothing but tired, under-fed athletes who end up having a compromised performance.
Never go hungry or skip any meal of the day especially breakfast that is considered one of the most important meals of the day. One needs to have a hearty breakfast that makes up almost ¾ of all the daily calories. This is vital to avoid getting tired and lethargic which eventually leads to skipping workout sessions altogether or end up over-eating at the wrong times to provide the needed energy.
- Have a quality daily diet
A high quality consists of all foods that are nutrient-dense and contains all macro-nutrients, that too in correct proportions. Such a diet is necessary to stay healthy and avoid diseases and usually consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and all other foods that are a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. All of these have specific roles on the body and is important to supply the body with a correct amount of each of them.
A high quality diet helps the athletes stay satiated, energetic and light throughout all the day and even through daily workouts.
- Set Times for your Meals
Along with correct proportions, meals need to be taken at correct timings of the day as well. Eating at odd timings, even if it is high quality food, does more harm than good to the athlete. Begin with a good healthy breakfast and then keep track of all major and small meals throughout the day.
For athletes, it is recommended that they have some kind of nutrition a few hours before a workout so that the athlete has fulfilled energy reserves. Similarly, a post workout meal is equally important when the muscles are conditioned to accept nutrients the most. The hours or so after the workout is vital for nutrition that should be rich in carbs.
- Stay Hydrated
Hydration is the key to staying healthy. Good metabolism with proper digestion and nutrient absorption, healthy skin, and optimized brain power can all be achieved by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration and over-hydration are the usual concerns for athletes, who need to realize their bodily fluid requirement in order to achieve the correct level of hydration. Water is important for a properly functioning body and to avoid drying skin, fatigues, nausea and reduced ability to focus on the task at hand or workouts.
Nutrition and eating right along with exercise are important for a healthy and fit lifestyle. Endurance athlete needs to keep a check on all their eating habits and monitor their nutrient consumption as too much of anything is never good.