Eat healthy during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Eat healthy during the COVID 19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is disrupting the lives of families around the world. As schools and childcare centres close, many parents are having to stay home and juggle caring for their children and working full time while taking care of other responsibilities. Decide “what’s for dinner?” it can become another daily challenge.

To further complicate matters, shopping panic and disruptions in food supply systems can make finding certain foods difficult. In addition, for many people, unemployment and loss of income make buying food more economical pressure.

While many parents are understandably turning to ready meals and processed products to feed their family quickly and cheaply, there are practical, affordable, and healthy alternatives. We present five ways to feed your children following a varied and nutritious diet that will promote their growth and development and, at the same time, will help to establish healthy eating habits.

Five tips for healthy eating

1. Keep eating fruit and vegetables.

Buying, storing and cooking fresh vegetables can be difficult during isolation, especially when parents are advised to limit their outings from the home. However, as much as possible, it is important to ensure that children’s diets include a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables. Whenever you have the opportunity to get fresh produce, go for it. Fruits and vegetables, in addition to being able to be taken fresh, can also be frozen, and retain much of their flavor and nutrients. If you use fresh vegetables to cook soups, broths or other dishes in large quantities, you will make them last longer and you will have different options for several days. Besides, you can also freeze these dishes and reheat them quickly.

2. If you cannot find fresh products, replace them with healthy alternatives, such as dehydrated or canned foods.

Fresh produce is almost always the best option, but when they are not available there are many healthy alternatives that you can easily store and prepare. Rich in nutrients, canned beans and chickpeas can be stored for months or even years and can be included in your dishes in a variety of ways. Canned oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon, are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. You can use them cold, such as in sandwiches, salads or pasta dishes, or you can also add them to hot dishes. Canned vegetables, such as tomatoes, tend to contain fewer vitamins than fresh produce, but they are a good alternative if you have trouble finding fresh produce or frozen vegetables. Dried foods, such as dried beans, legumes, and cereals, such as lentils, split peas, rice, couscous, or quinoa, are also long-lasting, nutritious options that are tasty, affordable, and filling. Oatmeal flakes cooked with milk or water are a great breakfast option, and can be seasoned with yogurt, chopped fruit, or raisins.

3. Keep stocks of healthy snacks.

Children often need one or two snacks throughout the day to stay active. Instead of giving them sweets or salty snacks, opt for healthier options like nuts, cheese, yogurt (preferably unsweetened), chopped or dried fruit, boiled eggs, or other healthy options available in your area. These foods are nutritious, satisfying, and help create lifelong healthy habits.

4. Limit highly processed foods.

Although it will not always be possible to use fresh products, try to limit the amount of highly processed foods in your shopping basket. Ready meals and packaged desserts and snacks are often high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt. If you buy processed foods, look at the label and try to choose healthier options that contain less of these substances. Try to avoid sugary drinks and drink plenty of water instead. A good way to add more flavor to the water is to add fruits or vegetables, such as lemon, lime, cucumber slices or red fruits.

5. Make cooking and eating an important and fun part of your family routine.

Cooking and eating together is a great way to create healthy routines, strengthen family ties, and have fun. Whenever possible, invite your children to participate in the preparation of the meal: the younger ones can help wash or organize the food, while the older ones can take on more complex tasks and help set the table.

As much as possible, try to stick to fixed times to eat as a family. These types of structures and routines can help reduce children’s anxiety in these stressful situations.

Cycling with protein and when to consume them for best effects

the-importance-of-proteins-in-cycling-and-when-to-best-consume-them

Cycling with protein and when to consume them for best effects

If you are a cycling fan who wants to start practicing it or you are already a veteran in the world of bicycles, you may already know the importance of good nutrition and how a cyclist can improve performance. But, if we specify a little more, do you know how important protein is in cycling?

Next, we will give a review on what proteins are and why they are important for a cyclist and, in general, for any athlete who is serious about their workouts.

What are proteins?

We will start with a metaphor widely used to define proteins, and it is that it is often said that proteins are the “building blocks” that form muscles, since they are long chains of amino acids linked together to form the tissues of the body, such as muscles.

Precisely for this reason, proteins are essential both for the training, and for the maintenance and repair of damaged muscle tissues, for example, after intense exercise, which brings us to the next important point.

The importance of protein in cycling

Before going any further, I would like to mention that contrary to what most people think nowadays due to the recent fitness craze, protein is not only important or necessary for people who train with weights or for people who they want to gain muscle mass, but they are for any high performance athlete.

While it is true that proteins are closely linked to muscle hypertrophy (increased muscle mass), they are also very useful to accelerate muscle recovery, and that is where they become important for cyclists.

Cycling is an endurance sport, but not only that, it is also a power and strength sport. In fact, it is arguably one of the toughest sports out there today. If you have any doubts about this, you just have to watch the final leg of a race and the consequent struggle to cross the finish line first, and all after hundreds of kilometers pedaling at full capacity.

During a long and intense race, a cyclist suffers great wear and tear, mainly on the muscles of the legs and, to avoid further muscle breakdown and allow damaged tissues to regenerate optimally, it is important to consume protein to achieve better and faster muscle recovery. In this way, he will be able to return to training at full capacity sooner to continue fighting for his goals.

How much protein do I need for cycling?

The WHO (world health organization) recommends an average consumption of 0.8 g of protein per kilo of weight per day for inactive people, but what really determines the adequate consumption of protein in a person is the level of daily physical activity .

Since cycling is an endurance sport, protein consumption must be higher than that of a person who does not perform any type of exercise. Specifically, protein consumption for endurance sports is between 1 and 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of weight per day, which can be a higher consumption (of about 2 g per kilogram of weight) in training periods harder and more intense or in periods of strict diet.

Protein sources

As a general rule, we obtain protein through our diet, with foods rich in protein such as meat, fish, eggs or milk and derived products. But, there are situations in which it can be somewhat difficult to complete the daily protein requirements with food alone, and in these cases we can turn to sports supplements as extra help.

Let’s look at the example of a man weighing 75 kilos, who is in a pre-competition period with very intense training an average of three times a week, and with a consumption of 2 g of protein per kilo of weight per day.

This person should consume about 150 g of protein per day. Do you get an idea how much protein that is? Well, let’s take chicken breast as an example, which has approximately 23 g of protein per 100 g. To reach the 150 g of protein that our 75-kilogram man needs in the pre-competition period, he would need to consume about 650 g of chicken breast a day, which are two of the large whole breasts.

In case you really need it, a protein supplement can make your diet a little more bearable, because it gives you a generous amount of protein quickly and lightly without having to spend time that you may not have in cooking and eating your post-workout meal.

Therefore, if you are a cyclist (regardless of your level or your experience) who trains an average of 2-3 times a week at a high intensity, surely your daily protein requirements will be higher than those of a inactive person, and you will have to pay attention to your daily protein intake to avoid muscle breakdown and accelerate muscle recovery after workouts.

When is it better to consume it?

Have you heard of the anabolic window? Well, it is a period of time just after a training in which our body can increase the assimilation of nutrients due to the increase in blood circulation and the production of anabolic hormones such as testosterone or growth hormone, which can increase muscle protein synthesis to speed recovery after intense training.

Years ago, it was believed that this “anabolic window” lasted for a certain time since the end of training, specifically about 30 minutes, but today it has been discovered that this period of increased protein synthesis can last up to 4-5 hours.

The best way to complete your daily protein intake is to distribute it in small doses between meals throughout the day, always taking into account the pre and post-workout meals to improve performance, which should be rich in carbohydrates (for energy and replenish muscle glycogen stores) and protein (to obtain amino acids and accelerate muscle recovery).

Read Article: Diet, Exercise and the importance of resting in 2021.