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By Sarah Taylor

Nutrition and fitness go hand in hand

A lot of people go wrong when deciding when to eat when planning to exercise, let alone what to eat. It may not seem like a very important step but once you figure out what you're eating and what it does to your body then you will want to start watching what you put into it. As great as it sounds, you can't just eat at your favorite fast food place and then go to the gym right after and expect to feel good about yourself.

Nutritiously fit or fitting in nutrition?

It's a big step to watch what you eat and it can be a bit overwhelming at times but it is well worth it. There are at least four categories that you want to be sure to fit into your diet at all times before and after exercising. Protein, water, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Your body needs these to help give you the best results.

Protein and carbohydrates

Protein help to keep your muscles repaired after you workout. It is best to eat about 2 grams of protein per kilogram that you weigh to continue getting muscles. Carbohydrates are your starches and sugars that keep your muscles moving. This also is a helpful way to recover from exercising. It's best to get 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilograms of your body weight.

Vitamins, minerals and water

These are what give you energy and keeps you hydrated during your workout. If you are low on these then your body can't perform as well which mean fewer results for you. Electrolytes (sodium) help your body stay balanced with fluids so low sodium while exercising may end with you getting cramps. Keeping hydrated is the most crucial step as it keeps your heartbeat from climbing too high, which will also help keep your body temperature stay normal.

Keeping time to keep your body

Sadly, you can't eat just anything that you want before working out and have everything be OK. You have to think about what happens after you eat. Eating something fatty before a workout can slow the digestion process which will give your body some vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy while you workout. What you eat before and after will either hurt you or help you with the results that you want to achieve. You don't want to eat too much food before working out or you can expect to feel sick and can even get cramps. Eat too little and you can feel weak.

If you like to work out early in the morning then you need to eat a healthy breakfast beforehand because when you sleep, your blood sugar drops so you need to restore it once you wake up. After a workout, eating a high-protein snack will be the best thing that way your body can start to repair itself. It's best to keep your diet full of fruits and vegetables as this help repair your body and help your body stay disease free but you will still need some nutrients that your body gets from meats and carbohydrates.

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