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Which are the recommended foods/diet before and after an hour of sports activities (using between 500-600kcal). Could you please explain the process taking place in our body? I have no health condition and generally, my health history has no relevant incidents. I would like a detailed answer regarding the time of day when I should have these meals (before and after the effort)

Hello John! Your question provides no information whether you are exercising to lose weight or to keep in shape. Additionally, it is important if you are interested in using an average of 500-600kcal in a shorter interval (20min for example) or a longer interval (60min for example).

First, you should be aware that keeping your body hydrated is very important in any type of physical activity. This can be done either during physical exercise if possible or most importantly after. You should avoid any carbonated drinks, and use plain drinking water.

In either situations I cannot recommend heavy meals, rich in fats before or after the physical exercise, as these lower your performance and can general {login} gastro-intestinal symptoms (hiccups, gastric reflux). The meal before physical activity should be at least 90 minute before the effort, while the mean after should take place at least an hour after the physical activity. You should eat salads, soup, creamed soups (no butter, of course), or a serving of meat (chicken) with a side disk (steamed vegetables). Additionally, you can use low fat liquid dairy products: yogurt (0.1%), butter milk (0.7%). Please avoid those foods that irritate your gastric system such as spicy foods, extra vinegar, or fried foods.

If your effort is intense and for a short time, then you should add fast absorbing carbohydrates (glucoses) to your diet. The reason is our muscles use the glucose first, and to increase stamina and avoid muscle fatigue, you need foods that provide glucose quickly. An example is the drinks for athletes which hydrate, have fast absorbing glucose, and are rich in electrolytes. These are necessary to compensate those lost while sweating which lead to minor unbalances resulting in muscle fatigue and severe cramps.

Have a good day!

John

Thank you for your answer, and I need a clarification regarding the sports drinks – what do you recommend – a drink such as Gatorade or an envelope of Magnesium/B6 dissolved in a glass of water?

You should keep in mind that during intense physical effort, we should avoid dehydration because it lower performance and endurance. In combination with high temperatures during exercising, it leads to muscle cramps, exhaustion, and in rare cases, caloric shock. Therefore, anything you use should be in a liquid form. Products based on sodium (small quantities, designed especially for athletes) can help as they stimulate thirst and small scale water retention. This water retention should be performed ONLY to prevent dehydration, and it should not generate weight gain or arterial hypertension. These products should contain potassium because its loss leads to fatigue and weakness.

Regarding supplements containing Magnesium/B6 or other vitamins and minerals, these are recommended to those who have such deficiencies. Shortages of such vitamins and minerals have a negative impact on physical activity. When these levels are optimal however, there are no studies to indicate an increased resistance to effort or increased performance.

Please do not forget the fast absorbing carbohydrates!

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