We’ve all heard of a warmup, a warm down, and just generally stretching prior to exercise; but did you know that eating accordingly is important, too? This blog will delve into our top foods that are packed with all the necessary requirements, so that you're fueled for your next workout.
Food is fuel and ensuring that you are eating the correct amount of nutrients, carbs and proteins is imperative for anyone looking to live a healthy lifestyle. When you go about your day and skip a meal, there are endless repercussions that put your body in danger. Besides feeling weak, and incurring a drop in your blood sugar, your exercise will take a hit if you aren’t keeping yourself strong. Some of the weirdest injuries in sports history are noted down to overdoing it, or just generally not keeping your body healthy, so making sure that you look after yourself is a key for anyone looking to better themselves.
Fruit and Vegetables
This may sound obvious, but fruit and vegetables aren’t shouted about for no reason. Losing fat, and gaining muscle are most people’s concerns when they head to the gym or begin a lifestyle change. Most fruit and vegetables are packed with the crucial vitamins and minerals to feed your body, and help muscles grow. Ideally grabbing a banana before heading to your next yoga session is what most individuals go for, as it’s an easy, yet on the go snack.
Bananas are a brilliant source of potassium and magnesium, which are needed to help the general wellbeing of your body, even without exercise. Bananas replenish the lost vitamins that you lose throughout the day and keep your sugar levels high enough to keep going.
Another brilliant option for fruit and vegetables is watermelon and tomatoes. Pack your summer salads with these refreshing bites, and they’ll ensure that your water levels are top up, whilst keeping you hydrated with electrolytes. Tomatoes are also saturated in lycopene, which is an antioxidant that protects all of your cells from damage during exercise. Along with this, they include Vitamin C, which is an ideal element to improving strength, and getting you to your next leg day.
Of course, this isn’t for the lactose intolerant individuals in the room, but a glass of trusty milk is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Often used as a post-exercise recovery drink, milk can be drunk alone, or have your protein powder swirled into it. Drinking milk increases muscle protein synthesis, which overall builds and maintains the balance of them.
Lean mass has been related to the consumption of milk, along with it also containing a hefty amount of minerals and vitamins. It is a perfect drink to have when you’re looking to rehydrate, and it easily packs in plenty of protein on its own, which is a far stretch from just water.
Don’t think we are crazy – but chocolate really is good for you (the darker kind, anyway). Cocoa is packed full of nutrition, given that it contains magnesium, healthy antioxidants, and a good number of amino acids. Articles show that there are individuals who found themselves with an improved vascular function, which in turn reduced their exercise induced oxidative stress levels. Cocoa nibs are the best and purest form for health, so sprinkle these in your breakfast, or top onto some yogurt for a snack.
Remember, this does include the concept of enjoying in moderation, and always ensure to check the ingredients for the finest form of cocoa.
The perfect base for the previous cocoa nib topper, a Greek yogurt is an easy addition to anyone’s mealtimes. Along with milk, yogurt can build muscle mass and repair any injuries from training, whilst keeping your calories low, but your taste buds happy. Yogurt also boosts bone health due to the protein count, and lowers blood pressure, which are necessities when it comes to moving your body and making a sweat. This creamy delight has plenty of calcium for growing and moving bones and has probiotics for repair and vitamin b-12.
Swirl into your savory dish for a creamy yet low calorie substitute or indulge for breakfast with a spoonful of honey.
Oats are counted as a complex carbohydrate which slowly releases energy during exercise. This slow release is an important factor in anyone’s menu when they are training, as they need to stay fuller for longer, but keep it light and healthy. It also includes a brilliant amount of fiber which helps with digestion and the smooth running of your intestines.
When you work out and put your muscles at a strain, then the sugar levels are burning away; that’s when you need oatmeal for breakfast as it slowly feeds your body and keeps it awake. There is no sugar spike or crush with oats as they are a natural source of energy, and they can be sparkled up with any additions for your breakfast.
Now, we know this isn't food, but the key part to anyone looking to repair their body is to ensure that they are hydrated. When you are working out, you are slowly releasing sweat, which evaporates from your body. This is when heat is removed, but so are body fluids, too. Ensuring that you replace this hydration is of utmost importance, as you could incur any kind of heat stress, and a big drop in peak performance. Being dehydrated will force your body into overheating, which in turn will make your heart rate increase and cause a spike in your energy drinking.
According to the American Council on Exercise, people should drink 7 to 10 ounces per every 10 minutes that they are exercising – now that’s a lot of h20!
No matter what stage of exercising you are at, you must make sure that your body is appropriately catered to, to prevent injury or lack of energy. Doing research and studies on your lifestyle change will help you learn and maintain your body's function and ensure that you are on track for success.
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