As we approach the month of December we are faced with many challenges that keep us from staying in compliant with our normal schedules and routines. From holiday parties to family gatherings it is quite easy to fall off track. For this month’s nutrition spotlight the focus is on Energy Boosting Foods that can help you maximize your workout, keep you feeling great, and keep you on track! Keep reading to learn more about foods from natural sources that can give you that extra boots before and after workout. Furthermore, supplementing the body with the nutrients it needs after a workout is important as well, read more to learn about foods that can aid in recovery.
Before performing it is important to consume carbohydrate-rich foods to top off muscle stores. It is also important to include small amounts of protein in your pre-performance meals. Protein helps build muscle tissue and adequate protein before performance may help reduce post exercise muscle soreness. Avoid high-fat, and high-fiber foods to ensure optimal digestion. Choosing fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains are ideal before any workout. The following foods are great foods by themselves to give you a boost in energy before performing:
Handful of Almonds: Almonds are a top source of antioxidants , like flavonoids, phenolic acid and vitamin E which protect the body from free radicals.
Bananas : Not only are bananas a good source of carbohydrates that are needed before any workout, but it is also an important source of Potassium. Potassium plays an essential function in muscle functions. During exercise your body looses potassium through sweat, thus eating a banana before performing can boost your potassium levels .
Avocado: This unique fruit primarily consists of carbohydrate and healthy fats. Also high in Vitamin K, C, and Folate! Great snack before a workout! Half of an avocado with 10 almonds pair great together!
Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein and are very inexpensive. Eggs are considered a complete protein , meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids! So Skip the protein power before performance and enjoy this delicious whole food.
Last month we talked about the importance of consuming adequate amounts of fiber in the diet in order to promote a healthy gut. However, before performance it is recommended to minimize these foods. High fiber foods before performance can be upsetting to the stomach. If consuming high fiber foods before performance remember to drink plenty of water and eat these foods at least 3-4 hours before exercise .
Post workout it is important to replenish the body immediately with the nutrients the body needs to recover and perform again. After working out a nutritious post workout meal will help replenish glycogen stores, promote protein synthesis, and hydrate the body adequately. What you eat post workouts is usually more of a meal rather than a snack. After completing a workout you want to choose meals that consist of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Here are some healthy energy boosting items that can help in the body’s recovering process:
Salmon is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals (including selenium, potassium , and vitamin B12) but it is the content of Omega 3’s that receive more attention.. Most beneficial Omega 3’s are naturally found in fish such as Salmon. Omega 3’s are especially important in supporting brain function and a healthy heart.
Quinoa is an excellent source of protein . Eating this super food can provide you with the protein and carbs that the body needs for tissue repair and recovery after a workout.
Hummus : Hummus is made from chic peas or garbanzo beans which are an excellent source of protein and also provides the body with carbs. Add a side of hummus to any of your meals.