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Hard work is rewarded with beautiful muscles. If you eat cleverly as well, you build up muscles better, become fitter and more vital - and thus create an optimal training basis.
A healthy and balanced diet is the driving force for great athletic performance and more well-being. Fitness enthusiasts and athletes should therefore take a close look at what and how much goes on the plate. Fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fresh fish, healthy fats and fibre-rich wholemeal products are a valuable basis.
And already at breakfast you can ensure a successful and lively start to the day.
The energy requirement of athletes can be between 1500 and 8000 calories per day depending on body weight, body type and training load. It is important to note that if you eat too little, you will have little energy available for training - your performance will decrease and the training adaptation will also be impaired.
The recommended breakdown of protein, fat and carbohydrates varies from sport to sport. If you are an endurance athlete, you need more carbohydrates. If you train mainly for muscle building, more protein is beneficial.
But do not exaggerate. Many athletes who want more muscles consume too much protein. According to the DGE (German Society for Nutrition), a protein intake of 0.8 g per kilogram of body weight is ideal - for popular athletes who are physically active four to five times a week for 30 minutes each. Protein powders are ideal to guarantee a balanced and perfectly dosed protein intake. Natural sources of protein include legumes, fish and meat.
You should replenish your carbohydrate stores about an hour before training. Light meals with wholemeal pasta, rice, wholemeal cereal flakes and vegetables are suitable. Don't eat too fat and not too much, otherwise you will run out of breath later on during exercise.
Drink plenty of water or very diluted juice spritzers during and after your workout, especially if you have been sweating heavily.
A first "snack" after exercise should be full of carbohydrates. Your reserves are empty, now you need to replenish them, for example with a banana. It is full of carbohydrates – and potassium, which is important for the muscles and energy balance.
As an ambitious athlete, you should avoid all foods that only give you a short-term energy kick: sugary drinks and lemonades, energy bars containing sugar, sweets, white bread and pasta made from white flour.
These foods do indeed cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and supposedly a lot of power. But the insulin that is released quickly forces the blood sugar level back down to its knees, and you feel weak and hungry again.
Better are the wholemeal varieties such as wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta. They are rich in minerals (good for the muscles) and fibre (good for satiety). Whole grain products provide you with sufficient and above all long-term energy for your training, because they make it available only gradually.
While you sleep at night, your body regenerates, builds up muscles and burns fat. To support this process, sports nutrition and natural supplements can be a complement to your diet.
Do you want to boost your muscle growth or lose weight? Then protein-containing foods and shakes are useful immediately after the sports session and can have a positive effect on your muscle growth and well-being.