To get optimal results from your workouts, you must be fueled by proper nutrition. Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates
What you eat (or don't eat) before and after a workout determines whether or not you achieve your fitness goals. Take proper care of your health and wellness. Here's a breakdown of the best foods for working out and why.
Complex carbs are found in foods such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, sprouted grain bread, beans
Due to their high
When you consume foods that contain sugar and your body doesn't need it as energy right away, it is converted from glucose to glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver.
During a workout, your body will tap into these energy reserves and convert glycogen back to glucose to be used during exercise.
For this reason, it's important to replenish your glycogen stores after a workout with carbohydrates. When glycogen levels are low, you'll experience symptoms such as extreme fatigue, confusion and dizziness.
Simple carbs are found in fruit, honey, milk, white rice, white pasta, white sugar, cookies, candy and baked goods. They're called simple carbs because they lack fiber. Without fiber, sugar (energy) is released rapidly into the bloodstream.
Of course, fruit, white rice and natural sweeteners such as honey are the healthier options as they also contain essential vitamins, minerals
On the contrary, cookies, cakes, ice cream and candy are void of nutrients and can actually hinder your fitness or natural weight loss goals by encouraging weight gain, fat storage and damage to your internal organs.
Simple carbs offer a quick burst of energy and will complement a pre-workout meal or make an excellent snack 30 minutes before a workout. By adding berries to your oatmeal or making a smoothie with frozen fruit and rice milk, you'll get plenty of energy from simple carbs.
Because simple carbs get absorbed quickly, they can be the better option over complex carbs for replenishing glycogen stores immediately after an intense gym session, making these some of the best foods for working out.
Sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are electrolytes that help with muscle contraction and nerve function. They are lost through sweat, which is why it's especially important to include them in your diet before and after workouts. A green smoothie with leafy greens, banana and kiwi will provide plenty of electrolytes that are quickly absorbed and utilized by the body.
Electrolytes can help avoid muscle cramping and spasms while you exercise. Electrolytes, especially magnesium, also promote and maintain optimal cardiac function.
Restoring the electrolytes you've lost during your workout through food and nutritional supplements will help prevent nausea, cramping, dizziness
Ah, the famous fitness macronutrient! Protein is essential to muscle building and repair. Without adequate protein in your diet, you suffer from extreme fatigue, lack of endurance and weakness during
Although protein isn't used for energy during a workout, it can help prevent damage to your muscle tissue. For this reason, you may want to include a few tablespoons of a
Protein is a must-have in your post-workout meal to aid in muscle tissue repair and promote increased muscle mass. You'll want to ensure you've had a good source of protein (and enough for your body weight) within 30 to 90 minutes after a workout. Greek yogurt, eggs, wild fish, chicken
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About Brandi Wagner, RHN
Brandi Wagner is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from Vancouver, B.C. Experiencing her own health challenges at a young age led her to become passionate about educating on the healing properties of food, and how to achieve hormone balance, clear skin and sustainable weight loss naturally. In her spare
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