Nutrition and Hydration Week (NHW) is a campaign that’s dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of proper food and drink in the health and social care work environment. It’s a global project that wants to increase standards all over the world and has become so popular that other industries are starting to take part, thus it’s now looking to expand its remit and is encouraging everyone to become involved. Today’s post is going to add to its momentum by discussing the importance of proper nutrition and hydration in a fitness environment.
There are 5 essential nutrients that the human body needs in varying amounts to stay alive. These are carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, and water. Each one helps the body to perform a different function and none should be excluded from mealtimes, however, fad diets often instruct people to completely avoid a certain group (usually carbs or fats) in a bid to lose weight.
Drastically changing your food intake in this way can be detrimental to your health because the 5 nutrients are the building blocks of life. Low-carb diets are notoriously bad for causing low energy levels, irritability, headaches, and food cravings. Likewise, low-fat diets bring their own set of problems including ‘brain drain’, heart problems, digestion problems, dry skin and hair, and food cravings.
A rough guide to a healthy plate is one which is comprised of ½ fruits and veg, ¼ starches and ¼ protein. Good fats should be on there too and the best sources will be able to fit into one of the preceding categories. For example, an avocado is a fruit that’s also a source of fat, nuts contain protein and fat, and oily fish is also a protein that provides fat.
The key to achieving a healthy balance is to adjust the above to the demands of your own lifestyle. If you’re someone who does a lot of cardio exercises, for example, a larger serving of carbs can provide the fuel you need to endure a training session. If you’re looking to build muscle mass, upping your protein intake is vital to ensuring that your muscles have the fuel they need to grow.
Proper hydration is an often-overlooked part of the diet, but given that the body is over 50% water you’d be foolish to ignore it! The standard advice is that you should drink 8 glasses of water per day, but this can come from a range of sources much more exciting than H2O.
Fruit juices, coffee and teas all contribute to your daily intake, but given that they’re sources of sugar or caffeine it’s not realistic (or wise) to drink 8 per day. Hydro+ is a flavoured water that contains electrolytes, minerals and nutrients, whilst also being free from chemical sweeteners. Each 500ml bottle is 2 glasses of your recommended daily water intake. It’s available at The Thames Club and is a deliciously way of upping your nutritional intake.
Get Involved With Nutrition and Hydration Week
The NHW website has all the details of the campaign and The Thames Club is encouraging members to support the campaign’s work.
If you’d like any more advice on how to incorporate the 5 nutrients into your diet or have a specific question about the science of nutrition, The Thames Club has an in-house nutritionist who is available to answer any queries.