The majority of people wouldn’t eat a pizza and then head off for a run. Chances are you’d feel pretty gross, and possibly even slightly ill. This may be a drastic example, yet there no secret that what we eat is directly related to how our bodies feel, especially when exercising.
There are a couple of things you can do, and eat, to help you get more out of your workouts. Check out some of the best snacks to eat before, during and after your workouts to help keep your energy levels high and recovery time low.
Before your workout:
- Raisins: Studies show raisins works just as well as sports drinks or gel boosters at providing pre-exercise muscle fuel. Knock back two tablespoons on the way to the gym and see your energy levels hit the roof.
- Green Tea: Research suggests that the compounds in green tea called catechins may help you burn more fat while you exercise. Plus, the caffeine in green tea will boost your energy levels and keep you going throughout your workout.
During your workout
- Coconut Water: Although slightly unknown in the South African market, coconut water is a huge hit in the States and Europe as it is said to hydrate just as well as a sports drink. Coconut water contains all the good stuff, like carbohydrates, electrolytes and potassium that your body needs when you exercise and none of the bad stuff, like loads of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- Water: Nothing beats good old H2O. Making sure you’re taking in enough fluids during your workouts is critical not only improving your performance but also your recovery time.
After your workout
- Cherries: Studies show cherries may decrease muscle soreness and inflammation. A cup of unsweetened frozen cherries or 100 percent fruit juice will do the trick.
- Green Smoothie: Latest research shows a healthy compound called nitrate in leafy green veggies helps muscles work more efficiently. Mix up a super food green smoothie after your workout – it might look like something off fear factor, but the benefits are tremendous!
Here’s a simple one to try; in a blend mix together the following ingredients, blend and enjoy!
- Spinach (high in vitamin A as well as 6 other vitamins, good source of potassium, iron and magnesium)
- Banana (Strong source of Vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium)
- Orange (Your number 1 source for vitamin C. As well as 17 grams of natural sugars that will be turned into energy throughout your day)
- Blueberries ( Excellent source of vitamin K and healthy complex carbohydrates that will give you burst of energy)
- Honey – just a drop or two
- Ice – For texture (instead of ice you can also freeze your fruits)
- Milk – ( good source of vitamin D, calcium, b12 and protein)