Here are four key nutrition tips that could boost your results from ordinary to extra-ordinary:
1) Focus on Reducing Inflammation
Exercise stresses your energy systems and damages muscle and connective tissue. Your body improves and grows only when you recover. By exercising you effectively create an inflamed state, so your pre and post workout needs to focus on reducing inflammation to boost recovery and growth.
Omega-3 is a great anti-inflammatory, where as omega-6 promotes inflammation. Aim to balance omega-3 to omega-6 by eating fish, grass-fed animal products, consuming fish oil and avoiding vegetable oils. To boost post-workout gains by improving protein synthesis and reducing inflammation, take 4g of high quality fish oil.
2) Use Caffeine Wisely
There are a number of articles and research studies touting the health benefits of coffee. Coffee does possess health benefits, but for maximum performance and fat loss paybacks you need to be aware of how caffeine personally effects you and the best times to consume it. Performance-wise, caffeine is the most effective legal performance-enhancing substance available. Take an espresso shot before training anytime you feel unmotivated, tired, or simply require a boost. However, due to it’s effect on cortisol, try never to take it when anxious or after a workout.
3) Manage Hormones
Hormones control every function your body has and therefore every action you engage in elicits a hormonal response. By performing smart actions you can maximise your hormone responses to optimise performance and fat loss outcomes.
Charles Poliquin, the worlds leading strength and conditioning coach, suggests that the aim is to “optimise baseline levels of hormones, particularly testosterone, because it is a significant indicator of athletic ability. Higher resting T means you’ll get more out of workouts to induce greater muscle gains”.
Testosterone levels are affected by sleep, vitamin D3, zinc and magnesium levels. You need to have adequate amounts of these while minimising alcohol consumption and exposure to estrogens or estrogen-promoting substances.
Stress (or cortisol) also has major negative impacts when striving for improved performance and fat loss. Aim to reduce and manage your
cortisol levels (stress) to maximise results by taking vitamin C post-workout or anytime you’re stressed. Dehydration is another major concern when attempting performance and fat loss goals. Inadequate water consumption will raise cortisol levels considerably.
Aim to drink 800mls per 23kg of body weight.
4) Take a Multi-Vitamin
Again, combating stress is the major key to achieving gains. With added stress your body needs extra B vitamins to repair and reenergise. Both mental and physical stresses deplete vitamin stores, particularly vitamin B5. I also recommend additional anti-oxidants to help fight free-radical development and help repair cell damage.
A lot of people I see working hard achieve slow results, which fosters a loss of motivation, frustration and finally giving up on their health, performance or fat loss efforts. Obtaining results is all down to how your body can recover from the stress of exercise. The faster your body can recover the faster you will see results.
There are many aspects to recovery and these are a mere few to point you in the right direction.