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You are what you eat. Adequate nutrition is the key to health, well-being and exercise or sports performance. Nutrition experts also agree that diet is directly related to health and the prevention of degenerative diseases.

The basic principle of healthy nutrition is balance. A well-chosen selection of various foods will provide many of the nutrients needed for health and physical activity, but not all. It is also interesting to note that water is the most important, but most easily forgotten, nutrient the body requires. The other nutrients that we require to sustain life include vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Because of the nature of our diets today, the amount of processed foods that we injest, and the amount of junk food that is pushed on us, nutrition is often lacking even when we are eating alot.

Nutrition is a relatively new science, which evolved from the discovery of vitamins in the previous century. Much research has been done since then and more and more information becomes available on a daily basis.

Unfortunately this abundance of information has also created the problem of misinformation and even dietary myths. Exercisers and athletes sometimes follow dietary principles and practices that do not contribute to improved health and fitness. In some cases this leads to eating habits that may be harmful.

You could spend a lifetime studying all of the different advice that people give about nutrition and dieting. We do not plan on adding to the wealth of information out here on individual diets. Instead, we will provide a general overview of nutritional principles that we believe makes sense regardless of the type of diet you may pursue. Not all of these principles will be consistent with all dieting recommendations, so be sure to reconcile the points we raise below with whatever diet you may be following.

Drink lots of water

Staying properly hydrated is probably the most important thing that you can do as part of a well-planned fitness routine. More than 75% of your body is made up of water-even bone is more than 20% more. Muscle is composed of more than 70% water. When you don't drink enough water, your blood doesn't flow properly in the digestive tract doesn't run smoothly. New research even suggests that drinking plenty of water can reduce the risk of breast, Cohen, and urinary tract cancers.

We have all heard that you need to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day to remain healthy. The reason for that is that the typical individual loses about 10 cups of water per day-2 cups to sweating and evaporation, 2 cups to breathing, and 6 cups to waste removal. You can replace cups 2 cups through the water in the foods that you eat, you have to make up the remaining 8 cups by drinking fluids, water being the best choice.

Don't rely on thirst to tell you when to drink. By the time your mouth feels parched, you're already mildly dehydrated. Prevent dehydration by drinking all day long. Keep a water bottle at your desk and always carry a bottle when you workout. You will also find that staying properly hydrated helps to control your appetite. You will be less hungry if your stomach is filled with water. That is not to say that water should be substituted for taking in the nutrients that your body needs to function and grow, but it does help to keep you from overeating.

A well balanced diet must include food supplements.

Your body produces chemicals which naturally signal you to crave a variety of foods in your diet. Unfortunately, junk foods that we eat sometimes contain chemical flavorings that interfere with this normal bodily function by changing your tastes to crave more junk. As a result, you are often too full after eating junk to injest the things that provide you with proper nutrition. Additionally, even if you are avoiding junk food, fresh fruits, veggies and other healthy food selections no longer contain the same level of nutrients that are necessary to a proper diet. This is so because our agricultural system has so over-farmed our land that foods no longer absorb from the soil all the minerals and nutrients we need. As a result, your diet should include whole food meal supplements (not synthetic vitamin equivalents).

Exercise and Rest

Most people don't think about exercise and rest being part of their diet, but we mention it here because no wellness routine is complete without proper exercise and rest. A proper exercise routine should include both strength training and cardiovascular (aerobic) conditioning. You don't have to be following the workout routine of an olympic athlete for your exercise regimen to benefit you. Sometimes, simply adding a brisk walking and stretching routine to your activities can be a great way to ease yourself into a more comprehensive approach.

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