Pre- Exercise nutritrion

Optimal performance during workout requires precise consideration of nutrient consumption. The most favorable dietary intervention is the one that can enhance and sustain carbohydrate (CHO) reserves (muscle and liver glycogen) for high-intensity workout. Consuming a meal in the preceding hour can help in maximizing glycogen stores and influences its utilization in the course of workout. The timing of the meal and its composition is essential in regulating the metabolism of the body.

Pre-exercise nutrition comes with a simple aim of “PERFORMING BETTER AND RECOVERING FASTER”. It helps you sustain your energy levels for long, reduces or muscle soreness post-performance, prevents low blood sugar, minimizes hunger pangs, avoids stomach aches, bloating and increases the overall performance.


The term “Macronutrient” refers to the nutrients that are required by our body in larger amounts and perform various physiological functions to maintain health.

Your car needs fuel (petrol/diesel) to run efficiently, similarly, your body needs carbohydrates for engaging in any kind of physical activity. The major function of carbohydrates is to provide energy and it is the key fuel for muscle and brain. The glycogen stores in muscle are limited. Depletion in glycogen stores can lead to a feeling of tiredness, fatigue and there is lack of energy. Choose complex carbohydrates over simple and include sources like whole grains, brown/wheat bread, low-fat dairy products, and fruits. The amount of carbohydrate one needs depends on the frequency, type, and duration of physical activity.

The proper growth and development of tissues, cells, and muscles occur with the help of protein. Consuming adequate protein pre-exercise reduces muscle damage, muscle soreness, and supports better recovery. It is important to include lean sources of proteins like lean meats, low-fat dairy products, eggs, egg whites, and plant-based protein sources like beans, legumes, and soy.

Moderate amounts of fat in your meals will make no harm. After carbohydrates when the glycogen stores are depleted the body uses fats as an alternative energy source. The type of fat consumed is most important. Replace saturated fats with unsaturated ones and include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and oilseeds, nut butter, olive oil, etc. Consuming anything in excess will have a negative side so keep a check on your portion size.

Water intake is extremely essential for the body to function properly. Water helps in regulating the body temperature and enhances the nutrient transport system. Water also lubricates the joints. Ideally, the water consumption varies for each individual however the factors assessed are common- heat, humidity, sweat rate and time of workout. For every pound lost during a workout, about sixteen to twenty-five ounces of water should be consumed. If your water intake is less, it can put your body into a state of dehydration which leads to fatigue, muscle cramping and in extreme cases loss of consciousness.

It is advisable to consume your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) 2-3 hours before exercise and a small snack 30 mins before exercise.

A diet containing carbohydrates meets the demands of the workout, and healthy fats reinforce physical activity and competition. To attain peak performance, all sports persons should eat regular meals and snacks. In addition to it proper meal timings, hydration and quality of meal can make up for a perfect pre exercise diet.

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Cancer : How to avoid it nutritionally

Cancer is a household word in todays world. The disease has impacted millions of people across the world and its nearly impossible to find house or family not impacted by it. Practically akin to the story of Buddha seeking a house where grief hadn’t touched them.

What is Cancer? To put it simply and succinctly,  it is a state when cells starts growing dangerously rapidly and starts crowding other parts of the body. It’s the name for more than 200 diseases where cells simply begin to grow out of control.

Cancer develops mostly when the normal bodily mechanisms stop functioning. It is then that there comes uncontrollable cell growths and the old cells also do not die. These additional uncontrollable cells then in most cases go on to form a tumour or unnatural growth of a cluster of tissues. There are majorly 5 categories of cancer seen so far.

These are –

  • Carcinomas – These types begin in the tissues or skins, which lines along the internal organ.
  • Sarcomas – Sarcomas are that kind of cancer which develops in the cartilages, bones, fats, muscles or other connective tissues.
  • Lymphomas – These types of cancer start in the immunity system and goes on to destroy the same
  • Leukaemia – Leukaemia is the type of cancer which affects the blood and the bone marrow system
  • Central Nervous System Cancers – These are the types of cancer which develops and subsequently spreads in the brain and the spinal cord.
Photo credit : Angiola Hary from Unsplash

Now, we may ask, what nutritional aspect can help us in reducing the chances of having cancerous growth in our bodies? In fact, anti- cancer diets are extremely important factors in reducing the risk of cancer.

According to Lillian Craggs-Dino, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, “Being overweight and obesity are very closely correlated to cancer because of the inflammatory process. A strong immune system helps to naturally fight off cancer”. Thus, it is imperative to get our nutritional facts correct, because what we eat and what we don’t eat is now directly related to a number of Cancers.

Nutrition is not a cancer treatment medicine but what you eat before, after and during the treatment  impact the outcome of the disease.

Dietitians &  Nutritionist globally suggest dietary plans  according to individualized BMI, but over all the things that can be taken in one’s own hands are –

  • A colourful diet with lots of green veggies, fruits, soya, nuts etc is a must to be in a relatively safe zone.
  • Lot of fruits. Colourful fruits lower the risk of stomach & lung cancer.
  • Consuming vegetables such as sprouts, carrots, etc will help reducing the risk of Cancer of lung, mouth, pharynx, and larynx.
  • Stomach & Oesophageal Cancers may be avoided to a certain extent by consumption of non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, beans or spinach, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Foods containing Vitamin C, like oranges, berries, peas etc are also extremely beneficial against Oesophageal Cancer.
  • Then foods which are high in content lycopene are good in avoiding prostate cancer. These foods are tomatoes, guava, watermelon etc.

Apart from these small tips in eating healthy, when it comes to nutrients in fighting cancer, one must avoid trans-fat, cut down on sugars, processed meats or refined carbohydrates.

Carcinogens or Cancer-causing substances found in various foods, must be avoided and cooking methods needed to be relooked to prepare food in a healthy manner

For example, one must store oil in dark air-tight containers so that they do not become rancid, or one must avoid consumption oil which is preheated and used earlier.

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