Exercise provides a range of benefits, including improved mental health, stronger bones, and more energy. Herbalife Nutrition realizes that receiving the maximum benefit from training requires that you consume the proper nutrients. Without adequately fueling your body, it will not recover as quickly, and you will lose some of the benefits you worked so hard to achieve.
Protein builds and maintains muscle tissue. After a workout, protein consumption kick-starts your body’s recovery. Optimal protein consumption advances your workout program, while a protein deficiency will prevent gains in strength and fitness. Mixing protein and carbohydrates assists with protein absorption and muscle repair.
Herbalife Nutrition recommends that protein comprise 30-40% of your caloric intake. Common animal sources of protein include beef, pork, poultry, fish, and eggs. Lentils, chickpeas, almonds, and quinoa all provide valuable plant-based sources of protein. Protein shakes, primarily when consumed post-workout, can also provide quality protein.
Lately, carbs have received bad press. However, they assist in providing vital energy to the body and in protein absorption. Carbohydrates provide glucose, the body’s main energy source. Herbalife Nutrition recommends avoiding refined sugars found in foods such as candy, soft drinks, and many snacks.
Instead, consume complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates do not provide the sugar high and crash provided by simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates provide a more consistent source of energy. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, cassava, carrots, beetroot, and parsnip. Fruit serves as the lone exception to the no simple carbohydrates rule, especially berries, granny smith apples, and cantaloupe.
Fat helps the absorption of vitamins and minerals, helps ensure cell health, and plays an essential role in muscle health. Initially, your body uses glucose for fuel during a workout. After 15-30 minutes, your body increases the conversion of fat for energy to keep you working out at a high level.
As with carbohydrates, there are good fats and bad fats. Herbalife Nutrition recommends that your diet includes 40-50% fats, primarily from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. While saturated fats represent a beneficial part of your diet if consumed in moderation, you should always avoid trans fats.
Seafood, such as salmon and Mahi Mahi, represent wonderful sources of beneficial fat. They provide an excellent ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help your body provide the necessary level of oxygen to your muscles during exercise. Other beneficial sources of fat include extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, avocados, and olives.
When you sweat, you lose a class of minerals known as electrolytes, which include sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Your body needs electrolytes to enhance nerve function and muscle function. Excessive loss of electrolytes can lead to cramping. Low electrolyte levels impede athletic performance.
Supplements, such as magnesium or calcium pills, replenish electrolytes. Herbalife Nutrition does not recommend using sports drinks due to the excessive simple sugars they contain. You can obtain electrolytes from pickled foods, cheese, fruit, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.