Fitness & Nutrition Hand in Hand
After countless reminders from your family doctor to exercise, you made up your mind to join a gym and follow a workout regime. However, you end up waking up tired and sore the next morning, demotivated to continue exercise. Many of us would have gone through this, but is there anyway that we can help ourselves and prevent this from happening?
Opting for a suitable diet that includes superfoods to optimize your energy can have a huge positive impact on our fitness level. Keeping watch on our daily diet will also go a long way to keep us on the fitness track.
It is important that we choose foods with nutrients that can enhance performance and recovery. Consuming nutrient-dense foods will help us have more energy, stay healthy and recover more quickly from workouts. We should select a diet rich in antioxidants, minerals, protein, unrefined carbohydrates and good fats, and superfoods are exactly the type of foods that contain such nutrients. Keeping to such a diet will help you build muscle, supply you with energy, decrease post workout inflammation, and boost workout recovery.
The following superfoods can be eaten pre- or post-workout, providing nutrients for workout performance or workout recovery.
An essential nutrient that you should focus on in order to strengthen your fitness level. Opt for high protein superfoods as protein is critical for repairing and building muscles and body cells especially during post-workout, when your muscle has been stressed out after strenuous exercise.
Incorporating foods such as quinoa and sacha inchi seeds into your post-workout meals can bring a positive effect on your muscle growth. You should also focus on distributing your protein intake evenly throughout the day for maximum muscle stimulus.
As amino acid acts as the base for protein synthesis and cell development, it is of utmost importance to ensure it is included in your daily diet. We should focus on superfoods that come with all the nine essential amino acids (e.g. quinoa) to maximize muscle protein synthesis. Our plant protein powder is another helpful addition to your workout diet.
Good quality carbs help to increase muscle retention and growth. When mixed with protein, they produce a synergistic effect in terms of protein syntheses and aids in the prevention of protein breakdown. Complex carbs should be emphasized while choosing your carb diet, and these can be found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Such carbs will keep you full longer and fuel you throughout the day. Additionally, these whole-foods usually contain vitamins and minerals that your body needs for physical activities. In addition, choosing low glycemic-index carbs for a sustained and slower release of energy will also keep you energized and active all day long.
Good quality carbohydrates help to increase muscle retention and growth. When mixed with protein, they produce a synergistic effect in terms of protein synthesis and aid in the prevention of protein breakdown. Unrefined carbohydrates (whole-grain) such as quinoa, brown rice and millet is ideal as it keeps you full longer and provide a steady source of energy throughout the day. Additionally, unrefined carbohydrates also contain vitamins and minerals that your body needs for physical activities.
Food that contains high fiber content will fend off hunger pangs longer and provide the energy needed to keep you active. Instead of eating sugar-laden cereals made from refined carbohydrates, try oats, quinoa or other whole-grain food (e.g. muesli porridge, etc). You may also add in other high protein food such as milk, yogurt, chopped nuts or chia seeds for additional boost of benefits.
Including healthy fats into your diet plan is crucial to fuel your body with sustained energy and shut off unnecessary appetites that lead to over-eating. Always choose healthy fats like omega-3 which will not only act as fuel for your strenuous activities, but also function as an anti-inflammatory agent against workout inflammation, while allowing the building of strong muscles and bones.
Maintain Adequate Supply of Electrolytes
When we exercise, our body will lose electrolytes like sodium when we breath and sweat. It is important to ensure that our body’s electrolytes are well maintained (electrolytes are like “rapid fuel”). Nutrient-dense foods such as unrefined grains (e.g. wholemeal bread, quinoa, oats), fruit and vegetables are sources that are packed with essential minerals such as magnesium and potassium.