Sergey Parastaev: “After increased training loads, protein-rich foods are recommended”

During the period of self-isolation, it is crucial to observe a proper and healthy eating plan corresponding to the level of workout loads that has become the norm during the quarantine period. Even experienced professional athletes will benefit from the recommendations of specialists who have studied this particular issue.

For advice and recommendations, we spoke to Professor Sergey Parastaev, leading researcher of the FMBA, doctor of medical sciences.

“The decrease in the energy value of diet decreases by at least 20%, when compared to usual consumption, with the total duration of exercises at home being 1.5 hours,” said the specialist. “It is advisable to determine the estimated energy requirement taking into account the current percentage of fat and the level of locomotor activity.”

I would like to highlight several moments here.

  1. Calorie distribution by meal: breakfast around 8am – 40%, lunch around 2pm – 30%, and dinner around 6pm – 30%. A prerequisite here is: the break between breakfast and dinner should be at least 14 hours.
  2. The proportion of carbohydrates should not exceed 50-55% of the calorie intake on a daily basis. Carbohydrates should be consumed at the level of up to 4 grams per kilogram of body weight each day.
  3. The optimal intake of protein in the body is 1.3-1.5 grams per 1 kilogram each day. Mostly with food without protein supplements. Priority is given to high-quality protein, preferably of animal origin. These are traditional varieties of fish, eggs and cottage cheese or other dairy products, such as common cheese for example. To a slightly lesser extent – meat.
  4. Water intake during a short series of exercises is not a good idea; also I would not recommend carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions in the form of sports drinks. Drinking water should take place after exercises.
  5. After increased training loads, I would recommend protein-rich foods. The consumption of substrate products enriched with protein is not required. Intake of recovery drinks is advisable only at the stage of intensifying loads. The use of specialized products with anti-catabolic effects is also recommended.
  6. Specialized food products that build up the body’s immune system belong to the category of “nutrition therapy”. These include glutamine and apiphytoproducts, such as honey, as well as other bee products – propolis, royal jelly, beebread and pollen.
  7. It is useful to use dietary supplements that include vitamin D to optimize the function of the musculoskeletal system with a target blood level of 50-70nmol/L.

And finally, the use of mineral and vitamin supplements right before increased training loads is advised. Antioxidants will be needed on at the stage of training intensification. And in general, the main task of this stage will be the adequate recovery after the high-intensity workouts.