Most of the energy you use during exercise does not come from the food you have just eaten, but from the glycogen stored in your muscles, liver and fat cells. There is enough stored for three to four hours of moderate exercise or 1-2 hrs of intense exercise.
A lot of people advocate high protein diets which are not healthy. The body requires 0.8 gm of protein per kilogram. Excess animal protein causes changes in kidney function which increases the loss of calcium from the body. Excess protein causes the uric acid levels to increase. This leads to the disease called gout excess protein which will not only add to your calories, but will also leach calcium from the bones. It is extremely heavy on the kidneys and liver as well.
To meet your daily requirement of protein, one needs to increase intake of leafy greens, mushrooms, sprouts, lentils and pulses. So, please don’t gulp down protein shakes or protein bars before exercise.
This simply means that if your overall diet is of good quality, it will keep your overall vigour in top level. Most top-level athletes tend to eat fruits before and after exercise and also during workout. It is extremely important to drink water before and after, and during workouts. Blood transports oxygen to muscles for activities. Water helps keep blood pumped with oxygen. Lack of oxygen in blood generates lactic acid, causing cramps.
So, what choices can you make in your daily diet to keep your workout at optimum levels without a drop in energy?
When having whole meals, it is very important to include grain protein and good fat vegetables in all meals. Simply put together a salad of raw veggies plus a cooked vegetable along with a serving of dal, fish, chicken, tofu, sprouts or paneer along with roti or rice. Always have three full meals in a day. The key to improved performance is including a lot of vegetables in your diet, snacking on fruits and nuts and avoiding foods like white sugar and white flour which drain your energy.
Here is a list of snacks to have before workouts:
1) Two bananas
2) A plate of mixed fruits
3) One fruit with two figs and two prunes
4) Skim milk yogurt with two tablespoon resins
5) Fruit with buttermilk made from skim milk
6) Coconut water and a fruit
7) A mix of lentils like moong with lots of vegetables
8) Scrambled egg or mushroom on toast with vegetables cooked in little oil or ghee
9) A handful of nuts