Experiencing hunger is totally normal. Being an athlete comes with an appetite and the harder you train, the more you eat. But why? What happens within the body? And how can you prevent this from affecting your progress? Read more to find out.
Hunger is good
How many times have you said in an angry voice “why am I so hungry all the time”? Hunger is usually seen as the bad guy. But actually hunger is good. It’s a sign that your body is using your food as fuel. The way that it’s supposed to. And when you’re hungry, this means it needs more. So as long as you know the right things to eat and how to tell the difference between real hunger and just being bored, it’s not a bad thing. And you shouldn’t always ignore it.
When your muscles are hungry, you’ll know about it
Weight lifting and strength training is likely to leave you with the biggest appetite afterwards. As your muscle tissue repairs, it cries out for food to help it regain strength. And the more muscle you have, the more hungry you are. So keep your fridge filled with healthy protein rich foods to keep the beasts at bay.
Hunger or dehydration?
If you’re used to training in summer, you might know the feeling of starvation after a sweaty workout. Approach this hunger with care. Because sometimes, it’s dehydration in disguise. When we sweat we lose sodium and this can cause us to develop cravings for sugar or salt. Next time you come home from a summer run, take a big drink of water before making any rational eating decisions. You might just find you weren’t so hungry after all.
Fear of overeating?
Of course hunger isn’t good when every time you’re hungry you dive into a bag of something unhealthy and keep eating until there’s no space left. This is when you will overeat. With that being said, it’s also not good to grab something small and unsatisfying. This will just leave you feeling hungry again in an hour.
It’s a mixture of quality, quantity, the right time and the right place. Choose nutritious foods, high in protein which are likely to leave you feeling fuller for longer. An example of this is baked oatmeal and dried fig. Head over to the Freeletics Nutrition App for this recipe and many more. Another tip is to workout right before a meal, like breakfast, dinner or lunch. You were going to eat anyway so this saves you from a snack you might have had otherwise.
Don’t expect your body to perform at its best, if you don’t provide it with enough fuel. Set yourself up for success. Eat Clean. Train hard. Stay healthy.