A healthy and sensible choice of foods plays a crucial part of any training or fitness regime. The purpose of food is to nourish, energize, stimulate and purify us. Foods influence our moods, thoughts, attitudes, alertness etc and give a boost to our intelligence and immunity. Diet is an important factor that contributes to mind and body wellness.. Nutrient timing is just as important for performance and recovery during the training period.  Complex carbohydrates are the main sources of fuel. A macronutrient ratio of 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 20% fat is recommended. For this include brown rice, oats, whole grain cereals, beans, legumes, sprouts, soya, soy milk, tofu, fruits, flax seeds, nuts/dry fruits etc.Caffeine and other stimulants are best avoided. Foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and millets which are rich in antioxidants are necessary for preserving cell integrity.

Diet guidelines:

  1. Incorporate wholesome foods like whole grains, millets, beans, sprouts as complex carbohydrate sources. Avoid foods high in glycemic index like white flour, white rice, potato, desserts, fried snacks, bakery products, sugary drinks, alcohol etc.

  2. Have 5 -6 meals a day. A nutritious snack every 3 hours provide benefits like blood sugar stabilization, control of acidity and boosted metabolism.

  3. The key for optimum utilization of energy from foods is to follow our natural biorhythm. But while training it is important to have 5 -6 meals a day. A nutritious snack every 3 hours provide benefits like blood sugar stabilization, control of acidity and boosted metabolism.

  4. Include plenty of raw and cooked vegetables, greens, fruits, nuts, low fat milk, fish and eggs for non vegetarians. 

  5. Refuel your body with fruits, especially bananas and orange juices (to replace potassium loss), yogurt, low fat milk or sports drinks for electrolyte and mineral replacement. This helps to rehydrate and refuel the nutrient loss. Eat good carbs like millets, oats, whole grains, sweet potato etc for glycogen replacement.

  6. Keep yourself well hydrated with water, buttermilk, lime juices, coconut water, fresh vegetable juices, orange juice etc.


Avoid the following:

  1. Avoid desserts, sweets, and all sugary foods

  2. Fried snacks, preserved foods, junk food and other savouries

  3. Full cream milk and yogurt

  4. Butter, cheese, red meats, organ meats and creamy or rich salad dressings

  5. Refined cereals, white flour, white rice etc

  6. Soft drinks, malted drinks, alcohol and smoking



 Hydration plays an important role in your training and in your overall performance.  Water is one of the vital nutrients required for proper functioning of our cells, tissues and muscles and to regulate body temperature and to carry oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. A decrease in the water level can cause severe dehydration, fatigue, can affect heart rate and muscle endurance and our thermoregulatory functions.


  1. Take sips of water regularly during the day. Hydrate yourself well even during the training schedule to prevent muscle cramps.  Coconut water or diluted orange juice are helpful. The temperature of water must be just cool to keep the core body temp and to prevent heat exhaustion.

  2. Avoid aerated or alcoholic drinks as they tend to speed up dehydration.

  3. Sport drinks need to consumed prudently. They are high in sugar content but are also helpful in moderate amounts as they replenish the electrolytes lost during the training or the run.

  4. Avoid drinking excess water as it leads to a condition called hyponatremia.

  5. Always be aware of symptoms of dehydration like fatigue, exhaustion, giddiness, headaches, cramps, nausea and disorientation.

  6. Carry easy to hold disposable water bottles or sippers when water may not be available at all stations.


It is important to give fuel and nutrients to the body to optimize performance, to boost endurance during exercise, and recovery after exercise


Mickey Mehta

Mickey Mehta is a wellness & fitness guru as well as a TV and Radio presenter and columnist for various publications and websites. He preaches the concept of holistic health and equipment-free workouts, besides establishing a chain of Mickey Mehta Wellness Temples across Mumbai.

Opinions expressed by the Contributors are their own and do not reflect any opinion of IL&FS Financial Services on the said subject

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