WINNING WAYS BY NATURE’S WAY

No matter what your sporting pursuit or fitness activity might be, carbohydrates are the most necessary food to supply fuel for hard working muscles.

A ranking of all foods called The Glycaemic Index or GI, indicates the effect a particular food has on blood sugar levels, allowing those exercising to choose carbohydrate foods most efficient for before, during and after a workout.   The quicker a food releases glucose into the bloodstream, the higher the Glycaemic Index, slow absorbing foods have a low GI.

Athletes apply the principles as follows:-

1   Pre-event meal – low GI to delay fatigue in endurance events

2  During exercise – high GI foods to quickly top-up blood sugar levels

3   After exercise – high GI to rapidly replace muscle glycogen stores

4   A high carbohydrate/low GI diet may help regulate ideal body weight with least fat deposition

Athletes who train heavily have a greater requirement of protein than the recreational exerciser whose needs will be met by the rule .75 gram protein per kilo of body weight.

Prior to exercise one should ensure adequate hydration, dehydration causes fatigue, headache, nausea and cramp and all of those surely affect performance.

Water is the best choice, however if an event is to last over 2 hours, sports drinks containing small amounts of carbohydrate and electrolytes are suggested.   These drinks accelerate fluid absorption from the stomach because of their sodium and sugar content, [approximately  4 teaspoons sugar per 500 ml].   Considering their acidity it is wise to rinse the mouth and teeth with water after drinking and perhaps drink them via a straw, thereby delivering the fluid directly to the back of the mouth.

Take a pre-sport meal about 2 hours before the event, if you feel uncomfortable with solid foods before sport, try a low-fat milk and fruit smoothie.

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