Pre exercise nutrition greatly influences your energy levels throughout your workout. Proper nutritional timing can allow the body to balance blood glucose (energy) throughout exercise. Depending on the source of energy or fuel a meal can linger in the stomach for up the 6 hours. Subsequently, as the most readily digested source of food, carbohydrates provide steady levels of energy. We suggest, a meal 2 hours prior to exercise consisting of low GI or slow digesting carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat) followed by a high GI or quicker digesting carbohydrate (apple, mango, banana) within an hour of your workout.
Refuelling the body following exercise is of upmost importance. When our petrol gauge flashes in our car the first thing that comes to mind is refuelling. So, why treat your body any different? Following a workout, the meal should compromise of a blend of carbohydrates and proteins. Why, low GI foods initially act to quickly replace the glucose consumed during exercise while low GI carbohydrates and proteins deliver the building blocks of fibre, vitamins, minerals and amino acids to physiological structures.
During a workout you lose around 1 to 3 litres of water through perspiration. Remain hydrated by drinking sufficient water prior, during and post exercise. A handy tip is to bring a water bottle to your work station, that way every time your eyes cross the bottle, you’re reminded to rehydrate.
Thinking about the exercises you’re about to perform and their proper form will improve the rate of progression during the session. Having a preoccupied mind during an exercise session can affect the quality of the exercise and see us fall back into those negative movement patterns.
Warming up prior to the session at a low to moderate intensity couple with dynamic movements or stretches is a great way for the body to prepare for the exercise. Another pre-exercise technique is to use a foam roller. A foam roller can be used to stimulate blood flow and releases those overactive muscles.
Following an exercise session and normally neglected is a cool down period. A cooling down period coupled with static stretches allows the body to gradually transition to a resting state. It is known that a drop in immunity immediately follows exercise when it is suddenly halted. Therefore a gradual decrease in intensity allows the bodies systems to normalise.