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The Foods That Fuel You

It’s really difficult to keep track of all the different food trends, diet recommendations and nutritional advice that seem to be presented to us daily. There is always a new study being talked about on the nightly news, that has discovered a more efficient way to lose weight or a better way to get your nutrients in. In all honesty, I don’t really know where to begin. I pick and choose the little I can from the plethora of information out there, but I am always left wondering if I am really using my food to its full potential. Meaning, am I eating the right things, at the right times in order to get the most energy out of them. Fortunately, there are some words of advice that can help us figure out how to best fuel our bodies.

Make Sure You Are Eating Enough

If you are looking to lose weight, then you need to lower your calorie consumption. The problem with this is that by eating less, you aren’t going to have as much energy, especially if you are training or working out. In order to drop weight and keep your energy levels up, just cut a few calories here and  there, instead of, for example, 500 right off the top. If you are exercising hard then you are going to burn a lot of the excess calories anyway, so don’t worry too much about calorie constriction.

Carbohydrates Are Your Friends

Your body generates energy through two types of foods- fat and carbohydrates. When in a sedentary state, fat burns slightly quicker than carbs, but once you start becoming active, the carbohydrates are going to really help keep your energy levels up. Because of this, if you are training, then there is no reason to be on a low-carb diet. All this is going to do is lower your endurance levels.

Get Your Protein In

Protein consumption is key when you are trying to build muscle. You need protein in order to create muscle mass since your muscles are protein. It just makes sense. However, if you are trying to up your endurance, protein is also essential. When combined with carbohydrates, a meal of protein is an ideal post-workout meal. This will help muscle recovery in both types of training. If you are lifting, .73 grams of protein is the recommended amount, with .55 grams being the ideal amount of protein for runners and cyclists.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Steven Depolo

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