Diet Commandments for Cardio Exercises

By      05-Feb 2019       Reading Time: 12 Mins

Diet Commandments for Cardio Exercises

It’s often recommended to move muscles in order to keep them in shape and to move, cardio exercises are the best fitted. Movement in muscles makes the muscles stronger and stronger muscles form an efficient and healthier body. Considering heart is a muscle, it requires the exercises that raise the heart rate for its betterment. Therefore, practicing cardio exercises makes it stronger. A strong cardio-vascular system is more capillaries delivering increases oxygen to muscle cells enabling cells to burn more fat during exercising and inactivity.


Being a runner, food and nutrition is all what you need to fuel your body positively. And hence, it’s highly recommended to fuel the body for miles. Extra hundred calories are roughly burned for every single mile that you run. Also, your muscles require extra protein to keep them operating efficiently. Moreover, running when paired up with nutrition, it beyond getting a protein rich diet. So, let’s check out what’s more required by runners to keep the mile going ahead.

Running Nutrition

  • Runner’s Energy Source- Carbohydrates: For a runner, carbs must make up around sixty to sixty per cent of the total calorie intake. Complex carbs are considered as the best source of energy for runners (athletes). Several researches say that for quick and long-lasting energy, a human body works more efficiently with carbohydrates when compared with proteins or fats. Fruits, starchy veggies, steamed or boiled rice and whole grains are the good sources of carbs to be incorporated in a runner’s diet.
    Runner’s Shield Source- Vitamins: Runners might not get any energy from vitamins still vitamins plays a crucial role in their diet. Exercising and rigorous running may generate compounds like free radicals which keep the ability to damage cells and hence, vitamins such as A, C and E are antioxidants that can neutralize the effect of free radicals. Therefore, having enough of vitamins in a runner’s diet should be preferable to keep the health or athletic performance under check.
  • Runner’s Repairing Source- Protein: Protein is an essential nutrient to repair the torn muscles during practice sessions. Also, at the same time, essential for regulating hormones. The more you run and cover the further distance, the more repair work your muscles have to do. Therefore, high quality and preferably lean protein is suggested. Go for eggs, chicken, tofu, nuts, seeds and fish. And for the runners having weight concern, low fat protein is suggested.
  • Runner’s Fuel Source- Sodium And Other Electrolytes: While running significant levels of sodium and several other electrolytes are being lost through sweat. However, electrolytes can be replaced if you have a balanced diet. Also, make sure to have natural electrolyte drinks like coconut water. Or else plain water works best to keep the body hydrated.




For all those who don’t want to spend hours in the gym kicking their bodies against the equipments or those who are just busy with their schedule, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is for you! It’s a workout which involves working out for less time as compared to other exercises and gives effective results within a short period of time. So, the next time you want to hit an event or rock that wedding, you exactly know what to do. HIIT is a kind of workout which alternates between periods of high intensity workout with periods of low intensity. This high intensity can go up to ten to twenty seconds of sprinting while low intensity can be just one minute of walking or complete rest.

A typical HIIT workout ranges from ten to thirty minutes. It is the most effective way of achieving weight loss effects in a shorter period of time. The metabolic rate increases due to the high intensity of the workout which results in further loss of calories. It promotes fat loss mainly reducing the amount of unhealthy fats in your body and might even help gain muscles. It helps in improving oxygen consumption which means it improves your muscles’ use of oxygen and is known to reduce high blood pressure and high blood sugar level.

HIIT Nutrition

HIIT involves high intensity of workout so it is advisable to eat carbohydrate rich food which leaves you with more energy for the workout. Also pack up on foods which are rich in fibres and are easy to digest. Some foods that you can include in your diet are provided here.

  • Whole grains – Whole grains, mainly whole wheat, jowar, barley and quinoa are advisable to be eaten. They contain high nutrients and fibres including several antioxidants like phytic acid and lignin. Some of the ways you can prepare whole grain recipes are given below.

    Spinach barley soup:
    Barley is a rich source of fibre which reduces hunger and keeps you full for longer. It also contains good amounts of copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. Spinach is high in iron content and contains lutein and zeaxanthin which improves the eye health. Cut strips of some fresh spinach leaves and combine with barley and vegetable stock to prepare a thick soup.

    Jowar raita: Take some boiled or roasted jowar grains and mixes them with fresh yogurt and your raita is ready! Jowar is rich in fibres and contains high proteins which help in providing energy for cell repair. It is also good for bone health as it contains high levels of magnesium. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin B12 and maintains digestive well being.

    Quinoa pulao: Who said you can only prepare pulao with rice? Quinoa is a good option to go for. Just add some tomatoes and onions to it. Quinoa provides good amount of proteins and carbs. It is gluten-free and helps in weight loss.

  • Legumes – Legumes are highly nutritious and contain high amounts of proteins and fibres. Legumes like beans and lentils must be included in your diet as they help in reducing cholesterol and heart risks. They can be prepared in some ways which is provided below.

    Chickpea veggie mix:
    Prepare a stir fry salad with boiled chickpea and veggies like carrots, lettuce and cabbage. Chickpeas are a good source of fibres and help reduce cholesterol and improve gut health. Carrots have lycopene in them which lowers down risk of prostate cancer. Cabbage is also known for aiding digestion due to the presence of vitamin C.

    Roasted cauliflower & lentil tacos: Roast cauliflower and boiled brown lentil is a great combination. Roll it over some tortillas and your meal is sorted. Brown lentils are loaded with fibres and proteins and provide B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. Cauliflower is also a good source of fibres which promotes digestive health and other health benefits.

    Red bean & broccoli soup: Soup is always a good option when you are running out of time. Make one with red beans and broccoli and add some herbs to enhance the taste. Red beans or kidney beans are good in fibres and contains vitamins and minerals like iron, copper and phosphorus. Broccoli contains proteins and is a powerful source of antioxidants.


Over to you

Nutrition can either make or break your training session and the race you run. So, always keep a considerable check the nutritious diet. Try incorporating good levels of suggested nutrients while keeping yourself hydrated.


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"At Nmami Life, the meaning of good health is a combination of nutrition and fitness, which are essential to your well-being."
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Nmami Agarwal

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