The beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest

L'Eroica in Gaiole is just a few days away and we all want to get into our best shape to face this traditional challenge and enjoy the "beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest" to the full.

Whether we are amateurs or agonists, one of the most important elements to achieving optimal fitness is the choice of an adequate and balanced diet. The food in our diet will be transformed by our bodies into energy to perform muscular work: the effectiveness of our nutrition is determined by the right combination and balance of ingredients.

To formulate a suitable food plan, you should know what type of energy is being used during a workout. In general, muscles consume a mix of carbohydrates and lipids that varies according to the workout and the intensity of the exercise: at the beginning your body burns carbohydrates, during purely aerobic exercise muscles use mainly fats, while as the intensity increases, an increasingly rich mixture of carbohydrates is consumed.

Whatever the type of training, however, there are a few key rules to follow.

Let's start with breakfast, the time to activate your metabolism. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: make sure it is complete and varied to trigger your metabolism. To maintain a good insulin balance from the very first meal of the day, the advice is to consume both carbohydrates and proteins; make sure to consume enough calories to avoid your metabolism slowing down to preserve energy.

After breakfast, the following is recommended:

- A mid-morning snack (fruit or vegetables);

- A complete and varied lunch;

- A second snack in the afternoon;

- A light dinner.

In general, the advice is to progressively decrease the calorie intake from breakfast to dinner to avoid accumulation overnight.

Another good tip for those preparing to participate in L’Eroica?

Once you reach the finish line, you should quickly restore muscle glycogen, but also proteins, fats and mineral salts with the introduction of carbohydrates. In fact, it is not recommended to fast for hours after intense physical activity: you should replenish liquids and nutrients in order to recover quickly.

Pasta and tomato sauce, the Mediterranean balance

Did you know that one of the most typical dishes of the Mediterranean diet is also one of the best to enjoy after a workout? Simple and tasty, a plate of pasta with tomato sauce is nutritious and very digestible, thanks to the pasta (rich in lipids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds) and tomato (also rich in nutrients, antioxidants and lycopene) and it’s even better with the addition of a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

You’ll enjoy this dish at the Gaiole pasta party or you can prepare it at home with all the ingredients you’ll find in your race pack!

In collaboration with ALCE NERO