Nutrition tips to get better at high intensity training
Adapting nutrition correctly is the key to improving your results in high intensity training
High intensity training, anyone that involves high doses of exercise such as cross training or HIIT training among other modalities, consumes large amounts of energy and increases our basal metabolism. To achieve maximum performance and continue to improve basic qualities such as strength, speed and power, it is essential to adapt a good nutrition program to your training and in your daily life. Only in this way will you be able to improve your performance and obtain better results in your personal brands.
Our nutritionists from DiR Maragall Mireia, Yolanda and Lurdes explain below the best nutritional advice, the essential foods in your diet or why you should avoid the famous “paleo diet”, among other recommendations.
The essential foods to complement a high intensity training
In these disciplines, energy expenditure increases greatly and there is a greater need for energy nutrients, especially carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Hydrates are the main fuel for the generation of muscle energy and for the brain, while proteins help to build important structures in the body such as muscles, hair, hormones, nails or enzymes, among others.
As for fats, they are a concentrated source of energy and it is important to calculate the amount to ensure a balance between ingested energy, weight and the percentage of fat according to the characteristics of each person. Finally, vitamins and minerals are essential to metabolize energy nutrients, help the development of tissues and other elements necessary for metabolic work.
The 5 essential foods for a high intensity athlete would be:
- Salmon: source of protein, iron and vitamin B12, essential for good sports performance. In addition, it contains omega 3, a natural anti-inflammatory agent that will reduce muscle pain and prevent injuries.
- Quinoa: contains all the essential amino acids and is richer in protein than other cereals. It is rich in fiber and an excellent source of carbohydrates.
- Oats: it is a source of beta-glucan, fat binding agent, cholesterol regulator and blood sugar stabilizer. It is also a source of carbohydrates that will provide you with the necessary energy for your training.
- Red fruits, especially blueberries: they are antioxidants, with a high content of vitamin C. This will make the immune system healthy, very important when doing sports.
- Vegetables: source of vitamins (precursors of many metabolic actions) and contain polyphenols, an anti-inflammatory agent that will also regulate blood cholesterol.
Nutritional supplements, yes or no?
Before deciding to advance down the path of nutritional supplementation, you should know that most athletes do not need these aids or supplements, since a good diet already provides everything you need to carry out your workouts. Now, if you compete, train at very high intensity or if you are an ultrarunner (among other sports), then it would make sense to use sports supplements.
Some good supplements can provide this point of improvement of the recovery of both physical energy and rapid muscle regeneration to return to being in the best condition for the next training. In these cases, we recommend:
- Vitamins and minerals: in a multivitamin complex or specific separately, especially vitamin E and beta-carotene.
- Omega 3: as an anti-inflammatory and recovery agent.
- Whey or vegan whey proteins: in different concentrations to be able to complement and adapt according to the needs for the recovery of muscle mass and stimulate the immune system.
- Isotonic drinks: with the ideal concentration of carbohydrates and sodium and electrolytes to ensure good replacement of salts and energy lost during training.
- Branched Amino Acids: in powder or capsules in different concentrations to complement muscle wasting and optimally prevent or regain muscle mass.
- Pre-workouts: these are formulas to take before training and help with a little caffeine or taurine or others to speed up the preparation of the start of training.
- Creatine monohydrate: increases muscle energy reserves and reduces the feeling of fatigue in explosive exercises and the use of high force.
- HMB: hydroxymethylbutyrate, stimulates protein synthesis and reduces muscle wasting and damage produced during training.
- Beta-alanine: acts as an obstacle to the lactic acid produced during physical exercise, thereby lengthening and helping to avoid feeling tired and optimizing training.
The famous “paleo diet” for high performance athletes
The “paleo diet” is a diet based on foods that were consumed in the Paleolithic age and that consists of eliminating the group of carbohydrates from our diet (rice, bread, pasta, potatoes …) and reducing it to meat , fish, legumes, fruits and vegetables. From the DiR Maragall team of nutritionists, this diet is not a good recommendation, since it does not have carbohydrates as the main source of energy, which would produce a lower performance and have an excess of protein.
Plan your diet with our specialists
To follow a diet that helps you improve your performance in your high intensity workouts and adapts perfectly to your rhythm of life, we advise you to consult the experts of the DiR nutrition service. Get started by asking for your free nutritional advice here.