You know the way it's a well known fact that you need 8 glasses of water a day? Well it's not a fact, it's wrong. 8 glasses of water in a day isn't bad for you but what you need is far less and a lot of it can be gained through food. Personally I drink the equivalent of about 4 or 5 glasses per day. Maybe more depending on the intensity at which I work out. If you find drinking water boring, go for some green tea. Green tea tastes good, hydrates you and boosts your metabolism.
Protein is necessary for muscle maintenance and if you're looking to build muscle it's crucial that you get enough. If you're looking to build muscle it's recommended that you consume 1-1.5g of protein for every pound of lean body mass you have. Good sources of protein are fish, white meats, nuts (almonds are good as you can easily add them to breakfast cereals such as oatmeal) and whey protein. If you're not looking to build a lot of muscle, you probably won't need to make a whey protein shake.
Replacing the crap with the goods
It's easy to make small changes in your diet in order to improve your overall health, here's a list of things you can do with little effort and minimal cost.
- Replace white bread with wholegrain.
- Instead of coffee, drink green tea.
- Eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of sugary cereals, it can be sweetened by adding fruit.
- Instead of eating chocolate for a snack, grab a handful of nuts and eat them over time.
- If you're looking for a good breakfast and aren't fond of oats, bran flakes are a personal favourite of mine and they're pretty good for you.
- To increase your vegetable intake, mix in some cauliflower to mashed potatoes. They have similar consistancy and taste so you might not even notice a difference.
Hopefully you'll find these tips useful and in future articles I'll go more into what each of the nutrients do and why you should take them.