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Friday, February 15, 2013

FOODS TO BOOST YOUR WORK-OUT




When it comes to working out, food impacts upon your performance in different ways, and we all want to get the most from our hard work. We present you with seven foods that enhance your performance to make your workout worthwhile. So whether you go running as a hobby, or you’re a hardened athlete, here are our seven suggestions to enhance your performance:


1.                              Easily digestible fruit: Fruit is nature’s answer to a healthy sugar high, and it provides carbohydrates to boost your energy levels. Fresh fruit such as bananas and apples are loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre, making this a fantastic way to give you a natural boost of energy before your workout. Make sure you opt for easily digestible fruit as those that are hard to digest – such as those from the citrus family – could hinder your exercise by causing stomach cramps.Bowl of fruit.


2.                              Greek yoghurt: Greek yoghurt is a great pre-workout treat as it contains twice the protein than normal yoghurt and provides you with good carbs, which are beneficial for exercise energy requirements. The combination of protein and carbohydrates in yoghurt are also great for muscle growth. Add in a few of your favourite tasty berries for extra nutrition and a natural energy boost.


3.                              Bran cereals: Bran cereals are a winning choice when it comes to enhancing physical performance. They are high in fibre and the betaine chemical found in bran foods enhances your physical performance and boosts your metabolic rate. Bran also helps with cell function and prevents dehydration during exercise. For a healthy, pre-exercise breakfast, fuel your body with bran flakes topped with fruit to get half your recommended daily serving of fruit and whole grain before you’ve even had chance to change out of your pyjamas.

 

4.                              Chicken: For up to one hour after exercise, your body will be craving the nutrients it has lost, so this is the most important time to replenish your body and re-build your depleted muscles. Eating protein such as chicken, eggs or fish will provide your muscles with amino acids that help them to grow back stronger and bigger, so it’s essential that you’re consuming protein-rich foods to enhance the effects of your workout.


5.                              Liquid meals: Liquid meals such as smoothies and nutrient-rich shakes allow you to get all the essential post-exercise nutrients in just a few gulps, making this the perfect way to provide your body with essential nutrients in the one hour post-exercise recovery period. Most people find the thought of a big meal daunting after exercise, so topping up on essential muscle-repairing nutrients in liquid form is a quick and easy way for your body to access these useful nutrients. Plus, the faster these nutrients enter your body the more successful you will be in building muscle and recovering from your workout.

 

6.                              Oatmeal: Oats are your best friend when it comes to prepping your muscles for a workout, as they provide glucose to fuel your muscles. Oats are also a great choice for losing weight, as they encourage the body to burn fat quicker in order to fuel your muscles. Try oatmeal pancakes around three hours before exercise for a tasty treat that is sure to enhance the effects of your workout by slowly releasing sugar, ultimately keeping energy levels on an even keel during your workout.

 

7.                              Trail mix: Nibbling on trail mix is an excellent way to top up on the minerals lost during exercise. Indeed, a well-prepared trail mix includes a well-rounded mix of nutrients that are essential for maintaining optimum energy levels throughout your workout. Trail mix provides protein too, which is essential for building muscles and prolonging optimum energy levels so this is the perfect go-to snack before, during, and after your exercise.


8.                              Almonds: Don’t misjudge them as fattening because the fats that almonds contain are monounsaturated fats. The kind of fats you should completely avoid before workout would include butter or cheese products as they will make you lazy and tired. Almonds also contain omega 3s that instantly energise your mind.


9.                              Banana: Banana contains carbohydrates that can be easily digested. Banana also contains potassium which improves the nerve functions. Potassium also helps you during your workout by keeping your muscles strong during your weight trainings. You can also eat any other fruit that contains natural sugar and will not add calories but at the same time provide you with enough energy to keep you going through your workout.


10.                          Chocolate: When you need an instant energy boost, chocolates can come in really handy. Chocolates contain compounds that help you gain energy. But watch it and eat only a little, as a bar of chocolate abounds in sugar, fat and calories. Opt for dark chocolate as it contains lesser calories than all the other chocolates.


11.                          Lentils: Lentils contain Vitamin B, fibre, carbs, magnesium, zinc, potassium and calcium. Lentils contain all the contents that we told you individually in the above ingredients. Apart from this, it is very low on calories. Eat a small bowl of sprouted lentils and add a pinch of rock salt for taste. But don’t overdo it as you might end up getting an upset stomach.


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