Summer diet for gym

The arrival of summer makes the day become hotter and longer, the occasions with friends become more frequent and there are people who feel more motivated to go to the gym as those who, contrarily, suffer in the hotter weather.

The arrival of the “beautiful season” usually brings a change in our nutrition: we tend to prefer fresh foods that are easily digestible and the consumption of fruit and vegetables increases like that of gelato, sorbet and ices and the can’t-miss evening aperitif, perhaps on the beach, taking advantage of the long days that let us have another round.
Described in this way, summer seems like a surge of wellness and vitality, but even if at the bottom of the nutrition pyramid there’s socializing and a healthy and active lifestyle, even summer from a nutrition point of view can cause misunderstandings: let’s discover together which are the winning strategies to combat the heat, stay in shape, and obviously not give up wellbeing and good food.

What to eat in the summer

The most reoccurring problem in the summer is dehydration: the average adult needs at least 2 liters of water a day, a quantity that can increase by up to 30% if you factor in the heat and sharp increase in sweating by those who practice sports.

80% of the water that we need has to be provided by liquids, so the simple mineral water bottle becomes our most precious ally. Water in itself contains many important minerals and can be made more appetizing by infusing it with tea (cold infusions) or with lemon juice. The rest of our hydration needs are usually met with nutrition: fruit and vegetables are super important sources of nutrients, vitamins, and especially water. For example, watermelon with only 10 kcal/100g, is made of 90% water, it’s digestible, light and delicious! We should give preference, however, to the raw versions of fruit: better to have a snack with a whole fruit, like a piece of watermelon or a nice mix of cut-up fruits than to drink a fruit juice. When fruit is put into a blender or cooked, its sugars become free and increase the glycemic index, not to mention that they also can lose a lot of vitamins and minerals that are thermo sensitive and reduce the quantity of fiber. Furthermore, chewing fruit is a lot more satiating and gratifying than drinking a juice.

Even if the heat usually lowers your appetite, skipping meals is not the way to go. Instead, you can go for meals made primarily of fresh foods that are easily digestible and there’s no reason to make the mistake of having lunch with a gelato or a piece of coconut. The latter may be considered a valid snack, but your daily meals should be well-rounded. Even fruit and vegetables come to our rescue: they contribute to giving color and flavor to delicious salads, that should be completed with healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, or seeds, adding protein sources like fresh cheeses, vapor-cooked fish, white meats, and legumes. All of this can be accompanied by a source of cereals like toasted bread that absorbs excess water and reduces bloat.
Summer diet for gym
Pasta dishes shouldn’t be excluded and in their cold versions become even more inviting!
On the other hand, alcohol consumption should always be moderated: let’s remember that those aperitifs on the beach are good for the mind, but the body has to work to break down all of that alcohol that, besides being a non essential element for our body, also creates dehydration and is full of sugars and zero nutrients. Compared to a traditional happy hour cocktail, a beer results as more healthy: studies have shown that a beer with a low alcohol content (<4%) is a good source of carbohydrates, salt minerals, and helps with hydration…but pay attention to the quantity!
Instead gelato is the classic summer food that can be consumed by anyone and used preferably as a snack or dessert. Milk and eggs are fats, but also high-value biologic proteins, those with fruit contain up to 20% of fruit pulp and are often in the “zero lactose” option that are easier to digest and the vegan version can be a motivation to try a more green-friendly nutrition. Gelato contains vitamins A, B, C, and E and is an important source of potassium, not to mention that those with fruit can have up to 70% of water! You should give preference to handmade gelato and creams don’t have to be excluded. The average cone containing three flavors composed of cream and fruit is a fresh and satisfying snack, but as always it should be consumed in moderation!

Summer foods

Which foods should be preferred in the summer?

Foods rich in vitamins and minerals

Like fruit and vegetables that are in season, which gives us a big range to choose from. Every color is a symbol of the nutrients that it contains, so mixing colored foods is a great way to get a full dose of vitamins, making your table joyful and making eating healthy less monotonous!

Foods with little salt

If dehydration is right around the corner, salt consumption surely doesn’t help us stay hydrated! Avoid processed foods, adding extra salt and consume fresh products as a better strategy! Even here the world of vegetables offers us valid help: what’s fresher, lighter, and more full of vitamins than fruit, legumes, and vegetables? Pay attention to how they’re consumed though. Make sure you carefully wash them and give preference to those without added salt or with a reduced amount of salt (sodium

Summer diet for gym

Fresh and easily digested foods

Whole wheat pasta, multigrain cereals, lean meat and fish, light cooking, legumes, light condiments, are the best way to stay hydrated, healthy and to stay energized because remember that even if the heat takes away our appetite or makes us feel a bit lazier, correct nutrition helps us combat the feelings of fatigue and gives us our energy back!

Cold meals are certainly more inviting in this season and this allows us to take advantage of this fact by spending less time with the stovetop.

For breakfast we can have a delicious, cold porridge prepared the night before, leaving for the whole night 40 g of oats in 200 ml of milk and enriching it with extra dark chocolate and a bit of fresh fruit mixed together! Lunch at the office or at the beach can consist of cold pasta with small tomatoes and mozzarella, or black rice, shrimp and zucchini and for a vegan alternative, cous cous (that cooks to absorption in 5 minutes) with vegetables and chickpeas. For a snack, fresh yogurt is our best friend, along with soy, or prepare frozen yogurt with fruit in the freezer to have whenever you’d like, and as we’ve seen, one or two ice creams a week can be part of a healthy and balanced diet!

In the evening, if you don’t have much time or you come home late from the beach, large salads are the perfect light and quick dinner because they’re rich with nutrients: like prosciutto and melon with bread and salad is a complete and fresh dinner – or a seafood (vapor-cooked) salad with bread, tomatoes and cucumbers or a cold omelets with eggs and potatoes and as a vegetarian alternative, a salad with emmer wheat and lentils is a rich source of fiber, vitamins and minerals!


Bibiliography

  • European Hydration Institute 2015; EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA) 2010.
  • Gelati e sorbetti, nutrienti non solo per l’estate Risponde: Pietro A. Migliaccio, Martina Comuzzi
  • I nutraceutici nello Sport F. Angelini
  • Non solo per l’estate, alimentazione prevenzione & benessere.

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