The 29th SEA Games has ended and we are so proud for the achievements of our Malaysian athletes in bringing back a total of 323 medals. A week of intense sports competition may have come to an end, but the training for many sports athletes will continue on until the next competition. For many others, intense sports training doesn’t have to be in the name of representing any given country. Many committed marathon runners, ironman triathletes and others who take part in intense competitive sports, do so to achieve their own personal goals and targets.
Nutrition plays a critical role in the daily routine for these individuals who undergo intense training. Knowing the kinds of food and supplement to add to your daily food intake can make all that difference between optimum recovery and spending days nursing sore muscles and aching joints, not to mention your performance too! In sports nutrition, there are a few factors worth considering towards an individual daily diet to ensure adequate energy stores are available for high output performance as well as the ability to recover from these sessions, ready for another round of training the next day. These are: hydration maintenance, energy intake through a balanced diet and timing of meal intake.
Besides the air that we breathe, water is the next most important element to ensure sustenance for life. During intense sports training, you are bound to lose a significant amount of water, as your body produces sweat in an attempt to cool down the body. In order to keep hydrated during a marathon or after strenuous physical exercises, ensure that you consume enough water. Fluid intake is of course dependent on how much you sweat during a work out session. As a general rule of thumb, the average person requires 1 litre of water per day in addition to 1 to 2 bottles of fluid per hour of moderate exercise.
Adding chia seeds into your water will not only give it a different texture to your normal water intake, but loads it up with omega 3 fats for sustained energy to power you through your session and protein to assist with tissue repair after your work out. Chia seeds are capable of absorbing nearly 30 times their weight in water; helping to regulate fluid levels in the body and retain electrolytes, ensuring the body remains hydrated before, during and after strenuous physical activity. Mix 1-2 tablespoon of Spoon Health’s Organic Chia Seed in water or juice of your choice.
Meal planning is the cornerstone for a healthy and balanced approach to your nutritional intake, especially so if you have an intense training session on top of other commitments such as a full time job or taking care of other family members. Including adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fats into each meal will ensure your body receives what it needs to sustain, repair and build up the necessary energy storage for your next workout. Including superfoods such as quinoa powder, chia seeds, fruits such as blackberries, blueberries or even tropical fruits like mangoes can provide for a complete all rounded smoothie. Quinoa has long been known for having a complete amino-acid profile, mimicking those that is required by the human body to repair, regenerate and build muscles. Chia seeds contain omega 3 fats which adds healthy fat into your diet, and perfect for those who are vegetarians or vegans. Sweet juicy fruits supply carbohydrates and converts into simple sugar as “fuel” for your body.
Timing of Meal Intake
Eating a well mixed meal of carbohydrates, protein and fat at about 2 to 3 hours before your training session can provide the necessary nutrition that your body needs while you are working out. Flooding your bloodstream with amino acids from protein rich foods can help to minimise muscle damage as well as boost muscle-building capabilities. Carbohydrates provide energy to power you through the session and fats help to slow down digestion and maintain blood glucose level in the body.
Mix 2 scoops of Spoon Health’s Organic Quinoa Powder, 1 tablespoon of Spoon Health’s Organic Chia Seed with a handful of blueberries. Add some ice for a cold, nourishing smoothie. Consume a few hours before your workout session or within 1 hour after your session to supply the necessary nutrients to help your body recover and regenerate.