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Physical Activity and Nutrition

Whether you are a professional or an amateur, proper nutrition and good hydration are valuable tools that should not be overlooked. Whether it's to help you reach your goals, optimize your training, improve your performance, have better recovery or simply to fit in as part of a new healthier lifestyle, here are some nutritional tips and examples to help you.

Macronutriments requierements:

Contrary to popular belief, the energy expenditure linked to physical activity is not enormous, unless you do long-term triathlon-type events. So unfortunately, going to fast food without feeling guilty because "I did sports" is not really fair 😉 It's actually a very bad idea because any physical activity whatsoever generates a transient inflammation with a increased oxidative stress. The meal following physical activity should therefore be rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods. In practice, you should adopt a Mediterranean type diet, means vegetables, spices (turmeric, ginger, cinnamon), red fruits, oils rich in omega 3 (rapeseed, flax, nuts, camelina) and quality proteins. (organic, from the flax industry).

Have a good protein intake

I'm going to bust the post-workout protein shake myth. If you exercise non-intensively, this does not justify increasing protein intake. You need 0.8g to 1g of protein per kg of body weight per day. Only those of you who exercise daily intensively can consume between 1 and 1.2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day. In no case should it exceed 1.5 g of protein per kg of body weight per day: so if you are 70 kg, you should not exceed 105 g of protein per day. If you want to gain some muscle mass, consume the majority of your daily protein intake (80%) after your workout :

For example, if you are 70 kg, your daily intake of protein should be between 70 g and 84 g and thus your post training meal should contain between 56 g and 67 g of protein.

To give you an idea, here is a table showing the amount of protein contained in 100 g of food:

We therefore quickly reach our daily ration through food. So please stop to abuse of protein shakes! Not only will you overload your kidneys and lose your hair, but you also risk creating dysbiosis (= alteration of the microbiota) known as putrefaction…not really sexy!

In addition, if we look at the macronutrient recommendations according to the different types of sport, we notice that the protein intake does not vary but it is the quantity of lipids and carbohydrates that must be adapted:

For short and intense efforts, increase carbohydrate intake because it is the main fuel used, and decrease fat intake because lipids slow down the absorption of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate intake at the right time

During or after training, again it is not really justified if you do not practice sports intensively or long-term training. If this is the case, again, the contributions will have to be adapted according to the type of effort, the duration and your objectives. If, however, you feel the need for a post-exercise snack, it should be composed of carbohydrates (to replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores), protein (for muscle repair and recovery) and low in fat (to not interfere with the absorption of carbohydrates). Here are some examples :

1/ 1 slice of sourdough bread with cottage cheese + anti-inflammatory spices (cinnamon, ginger, turmeric)

2/ Fried eggs with 2 egg whites for one yolk + ½ mashed banana with 1 tbsp of brewer's yeast

3/ 1 curd or skyr-type yogurt or soy yogurt + some dried fruit or ½ banana + 1 tbsp brewer's yeast

4/ 50 g of chicken or turkey breast + red fruits with 1 tbsp of brewer's yeast

5/ And if you really want a shake: vegetable milk + 1 tbsp of whey protein + ½ banana or red fruits + cinnamon

Micronutriments requierements:

All the minerals as well as the B vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of the metabolism during exercise and for post-workout muscle recovery. Practically, it is necessary to take care of a good intake in :

• Group B vitamins found in animal products (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products), whole grains and cabbage (vitamin B9 or folate),

• Magnesium: here I recommend supplementation,

• Iron founds in red meat, organ meats, soybeans, egg yolk.

A kind note for consumers of raw eggs: raw egg white contains a substance that prevents biotin (Vitamin B8) from being absorbed.

And of course, as you will have understood, the intake of antioxidants is also very important, especially after training.


Hydration is obviously essential, especially when you know that if you lose 2% of your body weight through sweating, you reduce your performance by 20%! In addition, dehydration leads to losses, or even deficits, of minerals. A hydrated body is above all a hydrated cell, hence the interest of isotonic drinks. These are mineralized drinks whose concentration of active particles (minerals, micro and macronutrients, etc.) is close to that of plasma. Indeed, the exchanges between the interior of the cell (intra-cellular environment) and the exterior of the cell (extra-cellular environment) are governed by osmotic phenomena. Therefore, if the drink is too loaded with particles compared to the intracellular medium, the water will not penetrate the cells and therefore the body will not be hydrated. Drink 150-200ml every 15-20 minutes.

For efforts of less than 90 minutes, pure water is sufficient. For efforts longer than 90 minutes, this type of drink should be used. Practically we mix water, fruit juice (preferably grapes or red fruits because they are also rich in antioxidants) and a little salt. The amount of carbohydrates is to be adapted according to the duration and type of effort as well as the temperature: the higher the temperature, the more hydration is favored so the amount of carbohydrates is reduced in relation to the amount of water.

And here is the recipe:

400 ml of fruit juice + 1 L of water (preferably water rich in magnesium) + ½ tsp of salt (preferably unrefined salt or Himalayan salt which are richer in minerals).

Attention for the efforts of very long duration, it will be necessary to add magnesium and vitamin of the group B. In addition, the simple fruit juice will not be enough. It will be necessary to supplement with carbohydrates.

Food supplements

For those who wish to use supplementation, I remind you that any consumption of food supplements not supervised by a qualified professional can be dangerous. Taking supplements must be adapted to the person's profile, lifestyle and diet, as well as the type of physical activity practiced.


If you have a particular goal, a long or very long distance event or advice on supplementation, I am here to support you!


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