Written by Jennifer Ho, Sports Dietitian. MS, RD, CD.
Whether the gym, pilates, or hiking is your niche, your body still needs fuel to perform. While you may not be training for any specific event, you are doing physical activity to keep your body healthy and moving. Our bodies are capable of so much, and we are all trying to maximize our potential and reach new heights. This may look like achieving new personal records at the gym or summiting a mountain you’ve always looked at from below.
Building a sound nutritional foundation is a crucial part of fueling your activities. Think about a car going on a long road trip. After a while, your gas tank gets low and you need to refill it to keep going. Think of your body the same way. As we go through our days, we use energy to move around, work, and play. If we don’t refuel ourselves, we feel tired, unmotivated, and fatigued. Food quality matters as well. After all, you probably wouldn’t put the cheapest gas option into a Ferrari.
So, how exactly do you fuel yourself? Let’s start with our macronutrients - the nutrients that give our bodies energy. Carbohydrates are your main energy source because they are digested quickly and provide energy fast. Proteins are essential for muscle maintenance and recovery. While they provide calories (energy), protein stores are rarely tapped into for energy during exercise. Fats provide slow, sustained energy and also help with nutrient absorption and the feeling of satiety. A balanced diet consists of all three, as their roles complement each other.
Once the foundation is established, supplements can play an integral role in providing extra nutrients to support your nutrition plan. 2before’s blackcurrant powder is rich in anthocyanins and provides multiple benefits including improved immune health, increased cognitive function, and enhanced muscle repair after exercise. These benefits can help you go from good to great in your activities. The most effective way to integrate blackcurrant powder into your routine is to consume one sachet 30-60 minutes before exercise. This timing allows the supplement to peak around the time you begin your activity.
After your activity, recovery is an important step in the process to help your body heal and repair. Recovery could look like stretching, ice baths, sauna, or massage. These are mechanical recovery modalities, and our bodies will also benefit from recovery from the nutrition side. Food is fuel, and we need protein and carbohydrates to promote recovery. Protein helps our muscles heal, and carbohydrates give our bodies the necessary energy to repair and adapt.
By supporting your nutrition routine and mechanical recovery with supplements, you are priming your body for improved performance in your activity. Remember everything your body does for you and the energy it needs to keep you up and at it every day. Fuel yourself every 3-4 hours with a meal or snack to keep energy levels elevated. Add in supplements around exercise for an extra boost of energy and nutrients. Most importantly, keep doing what makes your body feel good and energized every day.