How much exercise should be included when following a healthy dietary plan?

See how adults can do the recommended amounts of aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity each week. Make sure your diet plan provides enough nutrient-rich calories so you can exercise and stay healthy and injury-free. Protein is an important part of a training diet and plays a key role in recovery and repair after exercise. It has been suggested that foods with a low GI may be useful before exercise to provide a more sustained energy release, although the evidence is not convincing in terms of any resulting performance benefits.

Current recommendations for carbohydrate needs vary depending on the duration, frequency and intensity of exercise. As a general approach to achieving optimal protein intake, it is suggested to spread protein intake fairly evenly throughout the day, for example, around 25 to 30 g of protein every 3 to 5 hours, even as part of regular meals. Evidence generally does not support a significant impact of manipulating the glycemic index in the diet on physical performance, assuming that the total carbohydrate and energy intake is sufficient in an athlete's diet. Carbohydrate foods and liquids should be consumed after exercise, especially in the first one to two hours after exercise.

While it's important to consume enough total carbohydrates after exercise, the type of carbohydrate source could also be important, especially if a second training session or event will take place less than 8 hours later. These factors include incomes, food prices (which will affect the availability and affordability of healthy foods), individual preferences and beliefs, cultural traditions, and geographical and environmental aspects (including climate change). Eating a healthy diet and exercising frequently can help control or delay health problems associated with aging, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. These objectives include halting the increase in diabetes and obesity and reducing salt intake by 30% in relative terms between now and 2025. For athletes interested in increasing lean mass or muscle protein synthesis, it may be beneficial to consume a high-quality protein source, such as whey or milk protein, containing 20 to 25 g of protein in the vicinity of exercise (for example, in the period immediately after 2 hours after exercise).

If you have a history of chronic illness, consider telling your doctor that you plan to increase your physical activity, including switching to more vigorous activity. It is recommended that athletes consume 1.25 to 1.5 L of liquid (alcohol-free) for every kilogram of body weight lost during exercise. Consuming fluids at a level of 400 to 800 ml per hour of exercise could be an appropriate starting point to avoid dehydration and hyponatremia, although the ideal would be to customize the intake for each athlete, taking into account variable factors such as climate, sweating rate and tolerance. If dietary carbohydrates are restricted, a person's ability to exercise can be compromised because there isn't enough glycogen stored to fuel the body.