Diet, Exercise and the importance of resting in 2021.


Diet, Exercise and the importance of resting in 2021.

Diet is key to performance in sports, but what foods to eat to manage energy before, after and during physical exercise?

If in 2021 you have proposed to take on a sporting challenge or you are an amateur athlete and you want to improve your performance, start to exceed your marks, recover as quickly as possible, avoid injuries and be 100%.

Food and sport

Food before, during and after competition is one of the basic pillars for an athlete since both their performance and their achievements will depend directly on it. So, the first thing you should do is eat well.

Eating a balanced, varied, nutrient-rich diet that provides you with enough energy to cover all your needs is key to improving your performance in sport.

You must be aware that not everything goes in nutrition for sport! You have to eat fresh, seasonal foods that do not contain labels and avoid all processed foods such as refined flours, sugars, pastries, carbonated drinks …Which means that it is not enough just to look at the diet the day before the sports competition, which is what the vast majority worry about. This is not going to compensate you for the poor diet carried throughout the week.

An athlete should always eat healthy. For this it is essential:

Make a rich, nutritious and energetic breakfast that always contains these three food groups: dairy, cereals and fruit.

You have to eat varied and balanced, taking into account the type and intensity of the training and sport that you are going to do in the afternoon. It should be eaten in order to provide the necessary nutrients to maintain correct blood sugar levels and also to recharge liver reserves. For dinner, take those foods that help to replace the nutrients used and that allow to rebuild the structures damaged during the sport.

Hydration during exercise

In sports, a correct diet is as important as hydration. In addition to the recommended 1.5l of water daily, sports practice requires athletes to need to drink even higher amounts.

There are many benefits of sport in your body but, if we do not drink, the body reduces sweating as a protection mechanism and causes an increase in body temperature, fatigue, tiredness, cramps and, of course, a decrease in performance. So, drinking before, during and after the sport is mandatory!

There are many myths about hydration in sports, but it is true that it is extremely important to hydrate with isotonic drinks (commercial or homemade). We must make sure that its composition includes: water, sugar -glucose, fructose or maltodextrins- (6-8%) and electrolytes. Although above all sodium (450-900mg / l), since it is the mineral that most influences the compensation of sweat losses. An easy way to assess whether you are providing the correct amount of sodium is to observe that sweat does not leave white streaks on clothing. If so, it means that you need to provide more sodium to your body.

Nutritional supplementation

There are times when meeting the high nutritional requirements of an athlete is almost impossible with traditional food. The only viable way to achieve this is through supplementation. Or do you think a runner can eat a plate of pasta while doing a marathon? Or a cyclist one of rice on top of the bike? It is here, in full competition, where supplementation is essential.

Surely, there are many of you who already resort to gels or bars and you know very well which one works best for you. So, today I’m going to give you a more natural option: beet juice.

Recent studies were published where it was shown that a group of Tour de France cyclists had improved the functioning of their cardiovascular system and presented greater resistance to physical exercise. All this by drinking beet juice the days before the test.

And what is it about beet juice? Well, a large amount of nitrates and nitrites that are transformed into nitric oxide, a powerful vasodilator that allows the arrival of more nutrients to the muscle and reduces oxygen consumption during sports.

And not only that, beet juice is also a great antioxidant. It is capable of counteracting the harmful effect of free radicals and reducing oxidative stress caused by exercise and sports.

Rest, key to perform at your best!

Training to the maximum the week before the test will not solve the miles not run or the hours not dedicated. The only thing it will generate is fatigue, the great enemy of all athletes.

Obviously you have to train in sport, but gently and without stressing the body. To improve your performance in sport to the maximum you need to rest. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before the competition is essential. Leave things prepared, go to bed early, sleep 8 hours and get up in time to prepare a good breakfast and go to the event without haste. It is very important to be successful!

Athlete stress management on many occasions, athletes with great digestive problems suffer (flatulence, gas, abdominal bloating, decomposition …) and this is nothing more than a reflection of stress.

The high degree of demand that is set in terms of results in sport and the high level of stress generated by the competition itself alter the intestinal microbiota and destroy all digestive defences. Initially, we can solve it with the use of probiotics that, obviously, will help to repopulate all that destroyed bacterial flora. But without a doubt, learning to manage stress is the only definitive solution.

In short, on D-day you have to be at your best and that means being: well trained, well nourished, well rested and above all believing in yourself. Good luck and good luck with that challenge!

Read Article: Food and Well-being in winter activities

Food and Well-being in winter activities


Food and Well-being in winter activities

To enjoy winter sports, we must take into account some good food habits. This article explains how to modify our eating habits at this time in order to take care of our health, reduce the risk of injury and maintain good sports performance

When it comes to regular physical activity and, especially, when we talk about winter sports (in adverse environments), each person should set realistic goals that take into account their physical condition.

This simple rule, which must also be applied when modifying our eating habits, will avoid injuries and feelings of frustration by not achieving the objectives, thus avoiding the early abandonment of exercise.

Activities in the high mountains, for example, have a series of characteristics that must be taken into account to follow a good diet.

The needs of water, energy and nutrients increase during the practice of physical activity and sport, especially in winter sports. So, we must ensure that they are adequately nourished with food and beverage intake before, during and at the end of this activity.

What do we need to take into account if we are going to practice winter sports

With the cold and the altitude, the energy requirements increase and, in addition, due to the environment, the climate and the relief, the provisions must be adjusted to the weight and space available in a backpack. Hence the importance of good food and beverage logistics, as well as adequate equipment.

The loss of heat in these environments causes the body to react through involuntary muscle contraction, involuntary shivering and decreased blood flow to the skin, thus increasing energy needs. As a reference the energy, for example, of an alpine skier weighing 75 kg, would be around 3,800 kilocalories per day in training periods.

In cold environments, at high altitude and low humidity, the feeling of hunger and thirst is also reduced, while the need for carbohydrates as a basic source of energy is increased. For this reason, it is necessary to become aware of the need to eat and drink in sports days even if it doesn’t feel like it too much and it when it seems like an inconvenience at the time.

The diet of an alpine skiing, backcountry or mountain skiing athlete must be rich in high energy density foods based, above all, on carbohydrates but which at the same time provide proteins of high biological value, vitamins and minerals that help to cover the basic needs and those generated in the training and competition periods.

Key foods

• Fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas and citrus fruits

• Dried fruits such as dates, figs, dried apricots (dried apricots)

• Nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds

The importance of hydration

Hydration takes on special relevance not only because the sensation of thirst is reduced at altitude, but also because the temperature of the fluids must be adequate to facilitate their intake.

For this reason, measures must be adopted to protect the drink from the cold, such as bags, jerry cans, isothermal backpacks that help reduce the sensation of cold.

Tips when we start in practice

The most important thing is to measure the forces of each one so as not to exceed the limits, as it can increase the risk of injury and be counterproductive to health.

If you are fond of skiing, for example, but it is not practiced regularly or professionally, the diet should be based on plant foods, whole grains, nuts and those of animal origin that do not provide excessive fat or salt. Also, foods rich in sugar and fat should be avoided.

It is not necessary to take any protein, vitamin and mineral supplement, as a healthy diet provides all these nutrients, unless high performance sports are practiced.

And tips when we are moderate and beyond practitioners.

Before thinking about what to eat for exercise, it is important to improve or consolidate good eating habits. If you take exercise seriously, you should seek the support of an expert in sports and physical activity sciences and ask your dietitian-nutritionist for advice to plan an exercise, food, hydration and supplementation plan.

In addition, the diet will always be individualized and, moreover, depending on the type of sport, you must consider preferences, the time spent on training, weight and other analytical parameters.

General guidelines for athletes

• Divide meals into 5-6 intakes throughout the day in competition periods. Similarly, have an adequate and accessible reserve of liquids and energy foods.

• Foods rich in complex carbohydrates will be the basis of the diet. Especially selected in the preparation periods for tests in order to facilitate the maximum glycogen load that the athlete physiologically reaches.

• A low intake of complex carbohydrates can increase the risk of injury and lower performance in sport.

• Proteins, based on legumes, poultry, meats, eggs, fish and nuts.

• The fat component will be provided from:

• Monounsaturated fats: From olive oil as well as other fatty foods such as nuts and fruits like avocado.

• Polyunsaturated fats: From fish, nuts and seeds.

• Saturated fat: From nutritionally healthy foods.

• Fruits and vegetables play a very relevant role in the diet of people who exercise or practice sports as they provide water, rapidly absorbed sugars, key minerals for the muscle and also provide antioxidant vitamins that participate in the immune system and in metabolism.

• It is very important to drink every 15-20 minutes, even without feeling thirsty (before, during and after long-term tests). Always in small quantities and at a comfortable temperature (15-20 degrees Celsius).

• Tea, other infusions, vegetable drinks, broths or isotonic drinks are essentially recommended for athletes.

Read More: Why are snacks important?

Key trends that will shape global food in the next 10 years.

Various nuts in wooden box

Key trends that will shape global food in the next 10 years.

Many factors influence food and drink consumption habits. Researchers have identified and analyzed global trends in food and beverage consumption, differentiating between the areas where these trends are emerging, where they are the main trend and where they are already established.

These are trends that have been identified and analyzed, which are accompanied by market data segmented by areas of the world, talk about the changes that occur in different regions due to the introduction of new trends, how they have the potential to alter the global consumer landscape, etc.

Key trends identified for the next decade are:

– Natural and less processed foods. Consumers demand less processed food and drink, forcing companies to eliminate artificial ingredients. Consumers are looking for natural formulations with recognizable ingredients.

Sustainability: ecological is the new reality. Factors such as drought and other natural phenomena or concerns about food waste not only affect the supply of food and beverages around the world but also influence its preparation and production. After a rocky 2020, sustainability becomes a necessary consideration in the development of new products, which will be considered as a common good in favor of the planet and consumers.

Diet and personal well-being. Consumers are recognizing that diet connects with the way they look and feel. This places new emphasis on packaged products formulated to help people’s physical appearance as well as their personal well-being, creating a market for products enhanced with all manner of substances, from collagen to probiotics.

Alternative food. Vegetarian foods and non-animal milks will no longer be the main alternatives for those who have dietary concerns or follow a vegetarian diet. In their place are a growing number of new protein sources and potential substitutes for the everyday consumer, heralding a vastly altered market for what was hitherto considered ‘alternative’ diets.

For each person. The growing trend towards physical exercise and staying active shows a need for food and beverages that help the consumer to become familiar with sports nutrition, including energy, hydration and protein inputs. This creates an opportunity for product ranges to progress according to the activity levels and goals of people who maintain regular sporting activity.

Based on real facts. Consumers are more inclined to artisan foods, those that have a history and have been made with quality raw materials with certification of origin. The search for foods that move away from the industrial and tell a story will be a constant.

Purchase of food and beverages online. Needless to say as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping, apps and home delivery services are transforming the market at a fast speed. So fast that what was expected to happen in 10yrs, analysts agree the pandemic has accelerated this to 3 months! Online shopping is growing rapidly, and while the web has yet to change grocery shopping widely, innovations are encouraging consumers to consider alternatives to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

Food on social networks. The rise of food-focused media has fueled a new interest in cooking, not only as a personal experience but also to share one’s creations on social media. Whether it’s to compete in popular television contests or to farm specialties, many people cook to share with friends and fans.

Table for one. More and more consumers are living in single-person households or are occasionally eating single meals. These types of meals require well-sized products packaged in one-person containers, as well as promotion to further eliminate the stigma of eating alone.

DNA diet. The interest in going back to the basics and natural is the option that gains ground to manufactured foods. The interest in ingredients and historical foods suggests that consumers could make an effort to learn the keys to their personal physiology and design diets that connect with their own ancestors or their genetic bases.

– The stigma of fat decreases. The negative stereotype of consumers that all fat content in food is negative has started to wane. An awareness of the many sources of good and bad fats is ushering in a paradigm shift, in which fat content is neither the first nor the most important consideration in the search for healthy products.

– Eat with your eyes. Scent has long been the center of innovation, but societies focused more on sight and sharing call for artistic innovation and a strong ingredient of color in the food sector. New packaging and colors play a fundamental role to revalue products and make them attractive and worthy of diffusion in social communication.

Read More: Cycling and nutrition to help improve performance

Organic Foods, Are They Better For You?


Organic foods, are they better for you?

We pride ourselves on being fully organic foods at FitBites, but if you’ve ever wondered what the big deal is, why anyone would bother paying extra for organic food, we’ve got a few answers. In short, if you asked us whether it pays to go organic, we’d say yes, absolutely. The debate goes on as to what extent organic food is better, but the consensus is that it is better for us.

What makes a food organic? Organic foods are generally foods which contain no artificial substances. With meat and dairy, that means the food comes from animals which were not fed on antibiotics or other hormones. For fruits and vegetables, organic means they’ve been grown without the use of chemical pesticides.

Why would producers use hormones and pesticides? Most prepared and processed foods contain preservatives, E numbers and flavourings. Manufacturers include them to both extend the product’s shelf life, and ensure consistency. It’s the same deal with hormones and pesticides. For supermarkets, consistency is key. Using preservatives and other chemicals to regulate how foods grow, what they look like and so on, means that you can find apples and oranges that look the same, even though they’re 200 miles apart. The price for this, is potentially harmful chemicals and hormones, being introduced into your body.

Organic food doesn’t contain chemical preservatives, which is why it often looks different to non-organic food. It’s why it even looks different compared to itself. A pack of organic apples might be slightly different shapes, sizes and colours, because the natural growing process was interfered with less.

Why is organic food more expensive? Because organic food isn’t ‘protected’ by pesticides or hormones, it’s more labour-intensive. With organic food, there’s also an increased risk of wastage, something growers and sellers need to factor in when pricing products.

Does organic food taste better? In some cases, almost certainly. Without the interference of chemical preservatives, the natural flavour of food is allowed to shine through. In other cases, it may come down to personal preference, and what you choose to tell yourself.

So, is organic healthier? Yes, in a nutshell. Organic food is less harmful to the environment and to your body. It also contains on average, more nutrients than non-organic food, and given the choice, we will always, always make FitBites organic.

Why not visit our shop and give FitBites a try