Of course, we should always try and keep to a relatively healthy diet to sustain general good health, but if your exercise routine is mainly cardio based, you will need a balance of nutrients to get the most out of your efforts.
We should all be getting some level of cardio exercise on a regular basis, so if you are managing to do so, these are some thoughts on how we can give ourselves the best dietary support.
All basic cardio workouts, like treadmill, bike, cross trainer or rowing machine workouts need both carbohydrates and fat. As you exercise routines intensify, your body will take up both fats and carbs to provide much needed energy levels. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and bean provide good levels of carbs. Healthy fats are provided by the likes of olive oil, nuts, avocado, eggs and salmon.
We digest different foods at different rates, so timing your meals or snacks is also important.
You should have a healthy meal 3 or 4 hours before a workout. If you are looking for something an hour or so before you start, then low-fat (and relatively low-protein) snacks are the way to go.
After your workout you will need to “refuel” energy stores to help your body recover. This will mean more carbs and also a protein boost. Again, if it’s been 4 or more hours since your last meal you should make time for another. If it isn’t that time yet, then another snack or protein bar is in order.
In essence, do you research on foodstuffs, make sure your timings are correct and consider your own personal ability to digest certain foods. A healthy, well planned and executed diet regime will certainly boost your performance and help you get the most from your cardio workout!