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  Diet & Nutrition

March 2012
Diet for Stamina
Dr Divya Chowdhury
If you imagine your body as a car, then food would be the fuel. To get optimal performance out of your body, you need to make sure that you are providing the best quality fuel you can.

Stamina is an essential element of life that allows you to gauge your overall ability to deal with taxing experiences. Through stamina, you can endure prolonged periods of stressful events such as high-pressure jobs, prolonged physical activity or even sickness and disease.

Modify your diet
Incorporating healthier foods into your diet is an effective way to improve your overall stamina. When one begins to gain weight, his or her physical performance suffers. You feel tired, remain groggy.
  • Include fresh fruits, raw vegetables and healthy nuts to improve metabolism and because they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Avoid fast foods and aerated beverages that are high in saturated fat, sodium and sugar as these will reduce stamina.
  • Include lots of complex carbohydrates. The body’s preferred fuel is glycogen. In order to replenish and maintain glycogen stores (lack of which leads to fatigue),
    your diet needs to be rich in carbohydrates.
  • Include whole grains such as multigrain breads, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta as well as fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods.
  • Protein is needed for muscle growth and repair. While some protein breakdown may occur during exercise, protein build-up is enhanced during the recovery and the effectiveness of protein synthesis is increased. Good sources of protein include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and low fat dairy products, which contain all of the essential amino acids and thus are complete proteins. Other good
    protein sources are tofu, nuts and dried beans. Eat three healthy meals throughout the day and two minimeals of 200-300 calories for the energy you require.

Improve your flexibility
Exercise is difficult if your muscles are tense. Tight muscles can sap precious energy from your body, so improving overall flexibility will also help improve your stamina. Stretch
thoroughly before and after exercise to keep your muscles loose and relaxed at all times..

Stay hydrated
Keeping your body hydrated is essential for it to function well in any capacity. The old “eight glasses of water per day” rule still applies. Try to limit caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea, alcohol that tends to dehydrate, and avoid sodas that are loaded with sugar.
Get active
Get active! Walking, swimming, biking, tennis, golf or working out at the gym can get your blood pumping and will help you increase your stamina. A good night’s sleep and a great mindset allow you to enjoy and look forward to both a perfect diet plan and your workouts!
Dr Divya Chowdhury is Chief Dietician, New Delhi

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