Foods That Fuel Your Workouts

There are many theories about food and how it affects workouts. Some people believe you’ll lose more weight if you workout on an empty stomach. Others attribute a pre-workout snack to a more intense calorie-burning workout, so you’ll lose weight faster. One thing is certain, food is the fuel for the body, and like gasoline, there are high-octane ones and ones that could make the performance less than stellar. Consuming foods that boost your workout benefits helps you achieve more during exercise and keeps your body healthier when you’re not exercising.

Include healthy pre-workout and post-workout snacks.

The body requires a combination of protein, fat, and carbs. The carbs provide energy in a pre-workout snack, so you don’t hit the wall mid-workout. The protein improves your performance and increases muscle protein synthesis. A small amount of fat is necessary if your workout is longer but less intense. During those workouts, the body switches from burning glycogen to burning fat as fuel. Post-workout snacks also include these things and can help improve recovery and build more muscles. An example of a good pre-workout snack is a cup of Greek yogurt with berries. A healthy post-workout snack is a glass of chocolate milk.

Include fatty fish in your diet.

Fatty fish like tuna and salmon provide more than protein for muscle growth. The healthy fat in the fish helps maintain hormone levels. Low-fat diets have a link to lower testosterone levels in men, which makes building muscles more difficult. It’s also linked to menstrual dysfunction. The omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish keep your body healthier. Nuts are vegetarian alternatives containing magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps.

Add beets to your diet.

You’ll lower blood pressure when you drink beet juice or eat beets. The body changes the nitrates in beets to nitric oxide, which provides benefits. Nitric oxide is produced in the body when you exercise, too. It is necessary to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. The increased nutrients and oxygen help boost the building of muscle cells. Studies show that eating beets or drinking beet juice improves muscle power, endurance, and strength. It also boosts brain power.

  • Have oatmeal for breakfast to increase your energy level and keep you feeling full longer. It’s heart-healthy and boosts immunity. Top it with blueberries for more antioxidants. The combination is loaded with fiber to help maintain blood glucose levels.
  • Increase your protein intake. Lean meat, chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs are a few protein boosters. Protein is necessary to build muscles and do muscle repair. Choose chicken and beef for the most leucine. Leucine starts protein synthesis.
  • Include food with potassium, like avocados and bananas. It helps prevent muscle cramps. Avocados also contain healthy fat that improves blood pressure, digestion, heart health, and mood.
  • If you’ve sweat out a few cups of water during exercise, eating watermelon can help replace it. It also contains l-citrulline, which can limit muscle soreness and improve heart recovery.

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