Diet and nutrition affect virtually all aspects of our health. Eating a healthy, balanced diet has been shown to reduce the risk of a myriad of health conditions3, from heart disease and stroke, to diabetes and obesity. Diet can also affect our mental health4, with several studies suggesting that certain diets may reduce the risk of developing depression and anxiety.
Food can either fuel or foil a workout, and research shows that combining a healthy diet with adequate exercise offers more benefits than improving diet alone5. The right combination of fluids, carbohydrates and protein, eaten at the right time, can improve athletic performance and decrease fatigue6. Poor dietary choices, like eating right before a high-intensity cardio workout, can lead to increased nausea 7 and make exercise more challenging.
What we eat also impacts sleep quality and duration. Caffeine is notorious for making it more difficult to fall asleep and eating too close to bedtime can lead to sleep disruptions8. Most health experts recommend avoiding caffeine prior to sleeping. Having too much calories or fat in your diet may make it harder to get enough sleep9, as do diets lacking key nutrients10, like calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.