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    No matter what what your training objectives are, whether you are a professional athlete or frequent gym goer, if you do not support your training regime with an sufficient, healthy and balanced diet, then your hard work is more than likely going to waste. Read on to uncover why diet plays a crucial role in supporting your end results and why training and rest should always come second to nutrition.

    It is common that novice trainers believe the actual workout is the most important area of enhancing performance. There is no doubt that training frequency, effort and how appropriate to your end target the routine itself is plays an important part, but is it the most vital ingredient.

    There seems little sense in putting all that effort into your sessions, sweating severely and feeling drained after a workout, then not feeding the body the vital nutrition and rest it craves to repair and grow back bigger and stronger. This is where diet is crucial.

    The most common diet when training should meet certain requirements. The most critical and obvious is to feed the body with the right energy and nutrients to satisfy the demands of the exact training regime followed. The best part of nutrition should come from whole foods, including protein from lean meats, eggs and nuts, carbohydrates from wholegrain breads, oats, pasta, then fruits and vegetables. The diet should provide quick and full recovery after workout, and provide plenty of fluids to provide maximum hydration, especially whilst training.

    A meal high in carbohydrates should be eaten up to an hour prior any training activity as studies show it can have a beneficial effect on performance. The exact timing depends on the individual as eating so soon before exercise can have a negative effect on some peoples glucose levels.

    Protein is the second most critical ingredient when it comes to training, especially if the aim is to increase muscle mass. It plays a key role in recovery and repair. The daily recommendation of protein intake is 1 to 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight for those undertaking sporting activities. It can be quite difficult to get the right levels of protein into your daily diet, which is why protein supplements are so popular these days.

    In summary, whether you are a professional or amateur athlete, a bodybuilder, or a dedicated daily gym goer, a well-balanced and adequate diet provides the fundamentals to improved performance. Carbohydrates should form the foundations of any diet, and a diet too high in protein is not advisable. To improve energy levels, you can increase the amount of glycogen stored in the body through consuming more carbohydrates.

    Article BY: Ben Wain

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