A main piece of diet advice for people taking part in exercise is to eat carbohydrates beforehand.

However, a multi award-winning popstar has recently revealed a diet and exercise regimen that opposes this belief.

Albanian-born singer and songwriter Dua Lipa has a nutrition plan that prioritises protein and consists of mostly steak and vegetables to power her through hours of dance routines and exercise.

Carbohydrates, such as pasta and bread, are vital for exercise as they provide a burst of energy by quickly converting into sugar in the bloodstream and support the body through intense exercises.

The benefits of carbohydrates are praised by trainers coaching people for marathon running, and they often advise their clients to eat pasta and bagels before the run as surplus carbs are stored by the body as glycogen which can be easily accessed for energy.

Researchers published a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology highlighting the benefits of carbohydrates for cyclists.

Their study found cyclists who had a carb-rich pre-workout drink could exercise for 23 minutes longer compared to those who did not have the drink.

Results from a similar study conducted on cyclists showed that after cycling for approximately 190 minutes, those who had a carb-rich drink beforehand had greater levels of muscle fuel compared to those who had a placebo drink containing no added carbs.

These higher levels of muscle glycogen enabled the cyclists to maintain their performance without getting tired for longer.

However, some experts believe that a carb-rich meal before a workout is not necessary and could hinder performance as they spike blood sugar which is followed by sharp drop and fluctuating energy levels.

Taylor Thomas, founder and head coach of Thomas Endurance Coaching, said protein is better suited than carbohydrates to allow the body “to repair and replenish itself from the damage experienced during training”.

High protein meals can help sustain healthy blood sugar levels with no peaks or crashes.

Protein is broken down in the body into amino acid components and then absorbed into the blood and delivered to tissue.

Although protein is not used the same way as carbohydrates for energy, it allows the body to maintain and repair itself.

If there are no carbohydrates available, the body will break down the amino acids from protein into glucose for energy.

It is recommended to consume between 15 to 20 grams of protein before heavy physical exertion as it prevents muscle fibres from breaking down, which is the main cause of post-workout soreness, and preserves muscles.

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