5 Rules of Nutrition for Training Effectiveness

Proper nutrition is extremely important for maximum training performance, muscle recovery and overall health. Understanding the principles below and implementing each one into your routine will help you develop a well-balanced diet that'll continuously support your fitness goals.

In today's article, we'll discuss five key principles of nutrition that are important for people who lead an active lifestyle and exercise regularly. Remember that only their synergy will allow you to climb to a higher level in the fight for an aesthetic figure.

Rule 1: Appropriate proportions of macronutrients

Macronutrients, or nutritive components, which include proteins, carbohydrates and fats provide the body with energy and nourish the muscles. What's more, they perform building, regulatory and energy functions.


It's a tissue building material (elastin, collagen), it participates in the synthesis of hormones (growth hormone, insulin), it participates in the proper course of muscle contraction (actin, myosin), it affects the wound healing process (fibrinogen, prothrombin), it supports the immune system (immunoglobulins), it performs transport (hemoglobin, transferrin) and storage (ferritin) functions. In addition, it's an extremely important macronutrient for physically active people, so people who train (especially strength training) should increase its consumption.

Animal protein comes from animal products and is considered complete, because it contains all essential amino acids  those that the body cannot synthesize on its own, so they must be supplied in food. Plant protein comes from plant products and is referred to as incomplete, because it contains an incomplete aminogram.

Animal protein sources:

  • meat,
  • fish,
  • seafood,
  • eggs,
  • dairy products (milk, yoghurt, kefir, buttermilk, cheese, protein supplement).

Plant protein sources:

  • legumes and processed products thereof (chickpeas, beans, peas, lentils, soybeans),
  • cereals and groats,
  • pseudocereals (amaranth, chia, buckwheat, quinoa, teff),
  • seeds, pips, nuts,
  • some vegetables,
  • high-protein products for vegans and vegetarians (e.g. protein supplements).


They're the basic source of energy (glucose, fructose), they're a building material in plants (cellulose, hemicellulose, chitin), they provide a source of backup energy (glycogen in muscles, starch in plant products), they affect the proper functioning of the brain (glucose), they improve the functioning of the digestive system (fiber).

Complex carbohydrates, due to their extensive structure, are digested more slowly, so their absorption is extended over time and doesn't result in a sudden increase in blood glucose levels. On the other hand, simple carbohydrates, due to their simple structure, are quickly digested and absorbed, which increases the level of glucose in the blood. For these reasons, try to choose complex ones every day, while simple ones will be perfect after training.

Complex carbohydrates sources:

  • whole wheat bread,
  • flakes (oat, rye, buckwheat, millet),
  • groats,
  • brown rice,
  • wholegrain pasta,
  • legumes,
  • vegetables.

Simple carbohydrates sources:

  • white rice,
  • potatoes,
  • fruit,
  • sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup),
  • sweets and confectionery,
  • sweetened drinks and juices,
  • jams and preserves,
  • breakfast cereals,
  • highly processed food.


They are the carrier of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), they help regulate body temperature, they take part in the synthesis of certain hormones, they support the nervous system and brain function, and they're the source of energy for the body.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs), belonging to polyunsaturated fats, are very important in your diet, because the body can't synthesize them on its own. Monounsaturated fats and, to a lesser extent, saturated fats are also exceptionally beneficial. However, try to avoid hardened and hydrogenated trans fats, which have a very negative effect on your health.

Fat sources:

  • unsaturated: monounsaturated Omega-9 (avocado, olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds) and polyunsaturated, including essential fatty acids (EFA) Omega-3 (fish, linseed, soybean) and Omega-6 (peanut, safflower, corn, sesame, sunflower, soybean oils),
  • saturated: animal (fatty meats and sausages, butter, tallow, lard, lard, fatty dairy products, e.g. cream, milk) and plant (coconut and palm oil),
  • trans: (highly processed products, chips, fries, hard margarines, sweets, fast-food dishes).

Rule 2: Hydration

Water is essential to keep your body functioning properly, and you lose more when you exercise. Drink enough water before, during and after your workout to avoid dehydration.

The amount of water you should consume depends on many factors, such as body weight, training intensity, ambient temperature and your own needs. A clue may be to observe the color of your urine  a lighter color indicates a well-hydrated body.

Rule 3: Appropriate portion sizes

It's important to provide your body with the right amount of energy and nutrients, whether you're looking to increase muscle mass, lose weight or improve your overall training performance. Choose foods rich in nutrients, such as: vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, wholesome sources of protein and healthy vegetable fats. Try to compose meals in such a way that they are balanced in terms of nutrients.

In addition, it's very important to pay attention to the size of the portions, because eating excessive amounts of food can lead to stomach bloating, excessive weight gain or hindering the reduction of body fat. On the other hand, too small portions may not provide the body with enough energy and nutrients. Therefore, it's worth using moderation and adjusting the portion size to your individual needs. You can consult a nutritionist who'll help you determine the right portions for you, taking into account your lifestyle, level of physical activity, training and body weight goals and food preferences.

Remember that the pace at which you eat your meals also matters. Eat slowly and consciously, giving your body time to feel full. This'll help you avoid overeating and help you control your calorie intake better.

It's also worth noting that portions can be adjusted depending on the time of day and physical activity. For example, before training, you can increase the amount of carbohydrates to provide the body with enough energy, and after training, focus on protein intake to support muscle recovery.

Principle 4: Balanced micronutrient intake

Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. Although macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats are crucial, we must not forget about micronutrients that play an important role in the functioning of the body. Make sure to eat a variety of foods that'll provide you with a full pool of nutrients.

Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so try to include them in every meal. If you have difficulty meeting your body's needs for micronutrients through your diet, you may consider supplementation, but always consult your doctor or nutritionist.

Principle 5: Individualize your diet

Everyone's body is different, so it's important to tailor your diet to your own needs, goals, and preferences. There's no one perfect nutrition plan that suits everyone.

Find your unique calorie and macronutrient ratios based on your lifestyle, physical activity level, food preferences and training goals. If in doubt, consult a dietitian who'll help you develop a personalized nutrition plan.


Remember that proper nutrition plays a key role in achieving maximum training performance, muscle recovery and overall health, and is an integral part of a successful body transformation.

Every day, take care of the right proportions of macronutrients, regular hydration of the body, providing the right portions of meals, consuming diverse sources of micronutrients and individualizing your diet.

Ensuring the right system and nutrition plan, tailored to your needs, will allow you to achieve better training, fitness and figure results.

Following only regular hard training isn't able to provide you with optimal body shape effects, which is why the synergy of diet and training is so incredibly important.

1. Ron, M. (1995, November). "Nutrition and exercise -a consensus view". Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 1:34-8.