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People who train at the gym generally do their research and know what to eat before and after a tough workout. For the rest of us, it's a constant battle trying to eat healthy before and after workouts, especially when you're craving what you know is bad. Here are some of the best things you can eat to ensure that you're body is getting the nutrients it needs to get in tip top shape.
The caffeine in coffee has always been a favorite for runners before a big race. Now, people are drinking coffee to help make a run or long bike ride feel easier. The caffeine in coffee has even been shown to enhance physical endurance and stamina. Next time you're going to the gym, try a cup of coffee a half hour before you go. If you don't like coffee, green tea is a great alternative that offers antioxidants and metabolism boosters.
When you're getting back to working out regularly, there comes a time when you have sore muscles. The majority of the time, it's a soreness that actually makes you feel good about yourself because you can tell you worked yourself harder than your muscles were used to. When your muscles ache a little too much though, it's hard to get through the day feeling good about yourself. By consuming just a half of a teaspoon of ginger, it can help to lessen next-day muscle soreness by 25 percent. Ginger contains pain relievers such as gingerol, shogaol and zingerone.
Apples are incredible fruits, bursting with quercetin which can improve energy metabolism to increase endurance. Apples are also high in fiber, which is great for regulating your digestive system. Having an apple a day as your snack of choice can help your digestive system, help you stay in shape and keep you pushing when you're on long rides or runs.
As much as we love our bloody mary's, it's time to omit the vodka and enjoy the tomato juice for its health benefits. Tomato juice might be the best fuel you can have before a workout. This is because tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that absorbs tissue damaging compounds which is why by drinking tomato juice, you'll be able to get right back to your work out the next day without feeling the pain and soreness.
Raisins are sweet, chewy and can be used in so many different recipes. What a lot of people don't realize is how beneficial they are to boosting your energy levels. Raisins can give your body the carbohydrates it craves to keep energy-revving blood sugar levels up until the end of your workout. Try consuming this dried fruit during workouts that last longer than an hour or as a pre-run snack.
Bananas are inexpensive, readily available and delicious. The next time you're looking for a refresher like a sports drink, grab a banana instead. Research has shown that bananas actually work just as well at giving you the extra boost of energy you need to get you through a difficult workout. Bananas are rich in easily digested carbs, vitamin B6 and potassium.
This power house of a yogurt is rich in protein and a great post workout snack. With almost 20 grams of protein per serving, yogurt can help to improve muscle protein synthesis which assists in repairing, building and strengthening lean muscle.
Working out might not be everyone's favorite part of the day, however it's necessary for a healthy lifestyle. These seven foods can change the way you feel after a workout and in many cases, can help you get through the tough ones. Give them a try and see for yourself the power of natural vitamins in foods.
Janet Fredrickson is a freelance writer and health care professional. By researching programs including university of southern california (usc) masters in public health online, she's better in tune with what's being taught to young professionals and hopes her knowledge can help give people joining the field some guidance.