Pretty self explanatory but something I really struggled with for years.
Sleep and nutrition are amongst the basic building blocks for results when training for a performance, sport or for general fitness and health. Typically, we automatically think of hours spent in the gym first when looking to improve our body. Following the iron playground, sleep and nutrition trail behind the order of importance. However I would like to argue that they are just as (if not more) important as the gym. So important that I made a pyramid info-graphic. Count yourself lucky, I didn’t get a picture of a scientist to really hit home the fact that its pure fact, you get me.
Here is why sleep and nutrition are just as, if not more, important than the gym:
- Sleep and proper nutrition will improve your energy throughout the day,
- Sleep and proper nutrition will improve your mood and mental health,
- Sleep and proper nutrition will help provide a full range of micro-nutrients,
- Sleep and proper nutrition will help you maintain a generally consistent mood,
- Sleep and proper nutrition will help reach your true potential in all areas of life (relationships, work, and health),
- Sleep and proper nutrition will satiate your hunger,
- Sleep and proper nutrition will of course help provide your body’s ability to naturally grow muscle and repair, providing maximum gain!
Basically sleep and nutrition are essential to recovery and support for your body in line wit a good workout plan. I want to highlight that without recovery we cannot develop and improve. A full recovery equals maximum return and recovery is intrinsically linked with adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Little recovery equals Daenerys’ first two dragons in GOT = weak lol.
Now this is a varied, and often complex, subject so ill keep my point minimal on here and nail down what I believe to be very important factors for Nutrition. Plus, I am not a Registered Dietitian, so take away what you may.
Variety counts – I used to eat a lot of PB and J sandwiches until I could not look at another one! Variety is important for vitamins and minerals [you need more of these if you are stressed, taxed and working out]. Variety is also important for flavour and generally enjoying the wonderful varieties for mental health.
Multi colours – Think the colours of the rainbow. A full variety is very important and provides different nutrients.
Fat – is good! Years ago fat was shamed and everyone stayed clear of fat. We’ve come a long way from then. We now know that fat is important for a healthy balanced diet, including a healthy endocrine system. Not to mention, fat is excellent for satiety and your heart (specific types). If you are really interested in fat you can check out my in-depth article about fat here.
Quality – it counts. The better the quality, the better the nutritional value and the better our body reacts. This goes for meat, veg, everything! The downside, you pay a pretty price for good quality!
Along with eating a proper nutritiously balanced diet a good nights sleep can help you to recover with maximum results from your training (approx. 7-9 hours every night). Along with reaching your physical potential, sufficient sleep affects your mood and appetite. Some factors to consider:
Sleep is recovery – reduce your sleep,reduce your potential outcome.
Routine helps – talking about your body clock. The annoying reason why you wake up at 6 at the weekend when all you wanted was a long lie. Get into a rhythm and don’t let anything break it.
Turn off the phone – blue light on your phone mimics day light. Hence why we can be so wired at night time and struggle with a good nights sleep. To improve your sleep check my article here.
Hunger suppressant – poor sleep means our hormones get out of whack. The next day we don’t feel full on the same amount of food and we can constantly feel hungry. I’m talking about our hormone Ghrelin and Leptin.
I hope this article has helped. At the very least I hope it hits home the importance of a good nights sleep and diet. If you’re working hard in the gym, lets get the best results in the quickest time frame possible with EXCELLENT, not good, sleep and nutrition!
Please leave a comment if this has helped you in any way or if you have any questions.