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Eat and drink well to survive an interval training

By Elena Casiraghi, PhD, Specialist in Nutrition and Sport Integration - Enervit Team, Contract lecturer Theory and Methodology of Training and Functional Evaluation - University of Pavia
It's fun, helps you lose weight, tones your muscles, takes little time and trains your heart. Let's talk about HIIT - high-intensity interval training. Today HIIT is increasingly practiced in fitness rooms but at the same time also can be done at home with small and practical Wellness Tools or Skilltools.

HIIT: a safe method of training for the heart

There is Aerobic Interval Training and Sprint Interval Training. The first is more suitable for those who are no longer a "beginner" while the second is suitable for those who already have good cardiovascular training, to put it in terms of how to eat, for those who have a well-trained breath. Beyond the chosen formula, the two versions have one thing in common: the heart is not subjected to the excessive effort. In fact, the heart rate during this type of exercise tends to rise progressively in the high-intensity interval training fraction.

In interval training there is a great benefit for the heart muscle, which avoids major stress and can enjoy a positive training effect.

However, the short period of time prevents them from rising too high. A real guarantee for the heart. In the next phase of recovery, then, the heart rate falls, but without returning to the base values because of the reduced time devoted to this phase. The gap, in one sense or another, is not significant, the displacement of the beats is limited, with great benefit for the heart muscle that avoids major stress and can enjoy a positive training effect.

Interval Training is a guarantee: slimming and toning your muscles

These continuous changes in the intensity of an interval training are the added value of this type of training that allows you to increase calorie consumption both during the activity and in the following hours, thus increasing the basal metabolism, i.e. the energy that the body needs to live in a state of rest. And if the muscles require a lot of energy, many cells are activated to "breathe", to consume oxygen. It's not over.
Post-workout cooling
The more active the muscles are, the slower cellular aging seems to be. The proof is that if we stopped using all the cells in our body, they would degenerate to extinction (a process called apoptosis). Just like the rest of the body. In addition to cardiovascular health, Interval Training, precisely because of the mechanisms of action just mentioned, allows you to slim down and tone your muscles. This last benefit of interval training comes from the use of small overloads such as Skilltools or dumbbells, kettlebell, medical balls or even more simply thanks to the natural load, which is your body weight and then burpees, V-twist and bending on the arms to list only a few exercises.
Burpees w/ plyobox

How long to see improvements in Interval training?

For Interval Training to produce its beneficial effects, it must be performed for at least eight weeks in a row. Important benefits of interval training can already be seen after two weeks. There are two ways to see the values of maximum oxygen consumption improve, even more, evident than the classic aerobic training, i.e. continuous and low-intensity training. Some researchers have even shown a 15% reduction in all causes of mortality for every 1 ml/kg/min increase in VO2, the amount of oxygen that muscles consume per minute, in people with heart and coronary heart disease.

The more active the muscles, the slower cellular aging seems to be.

The reason for the effect of interval training could be explained as follows. Movement requires energy, which needs oxygen to be produced. The more movement you make, the more cells you engage in energy production. The plant where this fundamental production takes place within the cell is the mitochondrion. That's why, the more cells are involved in physical activity, the greater the total amount of energy made available to support the muscles in their increased efforts.
Guy chillin' after intense workout session

What happens after interval training and how to feed yourself?

High-intensity training always involves high sweating: hydrate! When you sweat. your body uses water and minerals to evaporate heat. These minerals evaporate sweat and take heat away from your body, preventing it from accumulating. And it does so even when it's cold outside: it uses a good amount of water to humidify and heat the cold, dry air before it reaches the deepest part of the airway. In practice, always take care of your hydration: before your training session, take water constantly throughout the day, during the session, taking water by diluting a mixture of mineral salts in water and at the end of the session, recovering the water supplies you consume.
Sports boy refreshes after a workout
There's more: if you frequently undergo these indoor sessions, it's advantageous to take a powdered mixture of magnesium and potassium after the exercise or replenish them with food. If neglected, it could lead to chronic fatigue and the risk of muscle cramps especially at rest, such as during the night.

Hydration in interval training? Impossible to give up

High-intensity training always involves high sweating: hydrate! When you sweat. your body uses water and minerals to evaporate heat. These minerals evaporate sweat and take heat away from your body, preventing it from accumulating. And it does so even when it's cold outside: it uses a good amount of water to humidify and heat the cold, dry air before it reaches the deepest part of the airway. In practice, always take care of your hydration: before your training session, take water constantly throughout the day, during the session, taking water by diluting a mixture of mineral salts in water and at the end of the session, recovering the water supplies you consume.

High intensity training always involves high sweating: hydrate!

There's more: if you frequently undergo these indoor sessions, it's advantageous to take a powdered mixture of magnesium and potassium after the exercise or replenish them with food. If neglected, it could lead to chronic fatigue and the risk of muscle cramps especially at rest, such as during the night.

Nutrition counts. Yes, it does. Before, during and after the interval training session

If training is the king, nutrition is the queen. Only by uniting these two will you get a kingdom, said Jack Lalanne. If so far we have clarified how to train and what benefits the interval training method can offer us, now to fully enjoy these, it is good to know what to eat nutritionally. Adequate nutrition that leaves nothing to chance is essential: it helps to ensure energy for the body, create the adaptations induced by training, recover effectively between sessions even when you want to lose weight or, conversely, for those who are underweight that want to gain weight.
Nutrition immediately after interval training is very important.

Before: arriving hydrated at the interval training session

Get to the interval training session well hydrate. Take a glass of water every hour of the day when you are awake. Eat your snacks. But if your busy day has prevented you from feeding yourself as you wish and you've been fasting for several hours, keep a carbohydrate energy bar or one of those pre-sports jellies specially designed to provide energy quickly. Simply consume them 30 minutes before. Are you "on the hook" with the times? A sport gel is a solution for those who have very tight times and a high-intensity lesson in sight.

LASTING an interval training session

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Don't wait for thirst, take advantage of the short breaks between the higher intensity tracts to take a sip of water and -better- minerals. Practical effervescent tablets are also available on the market, which adds verve to your water bottle but does not provide carbohydrates. Training in a state of hydration boosts the benefits of training and reduces fatigue, on the contrary, dehydration accelerates muscle catabolism and the depletion of energy reserves, as well as increasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Don't wait for thirst while interval training, take advantage of the short breaks between the higher intensity stretches to take a sip of water and -better- minerals.

After an interval training session

Ideally, Interval Training sessions should be included just before lunch and dinner so that you can use these meals to take the right nutrients in the right amounts to activate the stimuli induced by the training and start the process of recovery that means reduction of late muscle pain (D.O.M.S.) but at the same time toning and restoring energy supplies. In addition to rehydration. Neglecting this moment would mean reducing the benefits of training, increasing recovery times and compromising weight loss.
Timing counts. The meal, or at least the recovery meal, should be consumed as soon as possible after the end of the session, preferably within 30-60 minutes of its end. A source of lean proteins rich in branched chain amino acids such as white meat. The egg white is also excellent. For vegans, tofu is a strategic food in this window of time. A portion of so-called refined carbohydrates such as rice, pasta or cereals.
Every meal, finally, is a valuable time to take positive foods such as vegetables that are rich in polyphenols. Although currently they are not essential. But, in any case, why give it up? If you're a lover, in the meal that follows your training, you can feel authorised to take even a small cake or small piece of chocolate, a food rich in cocoa polyphenols. First, however, hydration: only by rehydrating your cells will they be able to accept the substances supplied to them through the consumption of food.

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