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Food & diet

Do you know when to eat if you do competitive sports?

April 20, 2018

What, how but especially when to eat. When you exercise in competitive sports, nutrition has not only its own precise rules but also time to respect if you want to maximize the physical and mental benefit of training. We talk about this topic with Professor Daniela Lucini, head of the Section for Exercise Medicine of Humanitas.


Pre-workout power supply

In addition to focusing on what to eat, when you are physically active for several hours a day, it is also good to consider when is the best time to get the right number of calories. The two most important moments to focus on are just before and immediately after training. “The general rule is to have a light snack or meal one to four hours before the sport activity,” said Professor Lucini. A good choice is carbohydrate foods with low protein and fat intake. Carbohydrates help to achieve lighter, more intensive training, while protein and fat are more complex to digest.


Post-workout nutrition

After intensive exercise, it is important to have a snack or meal made of carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates help to replenish glycogen lost in the muscles during training, while proteins provide amino acids that facilitate muscle repair and reconstruction. Depending on when you decide to train, you can have a snack followed by a meal two or four hours later, or after training you can go to lunch or dinner directly.

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