As a fitness enthusiast, I’m always on a hunt for information on how foods can help improve our athletic performance, cell recovery and develop muscles. Recently, I visited Garagegymplanner and discovered some awesome ways how following the right combination of diet and workout methods can help us stay fit and healthy forever. When I share tips with my friends, they are like “Wow, that’s awesome!” or “I feel ten years younger”.
I’m sure you’ll be excited to learn about these seven fitness foods that can help you to train better and develop better muscles.
Beetroot Juice for Stamina
In the UK, a bunch of male athletes were asked to consume 16 ounces of beet juice and a bunch of others were asked to take a placebo. Later, it was found that those who took the ruby red veggie lasted 16% longer than those who took the unreal thing. This, the researchers say, can’t be derived from any other external supplement or activity including training.
How to make the beet magic work for you? To improve your athletic performance, all you need to do is buy a juicer and put some fresh beets into it. Drink one cup of juice as a pre-workout drink. If you prefer, blend it into a smoothie. Enjoy the taste and enjoy the extra reps!
Honey for Endurance
In a research conducted by experts at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, it was found that taking honey before exercise helps improve endurance of consumers. Honey provides athletes with a fresh supply of natural sugar and insulin, which in turn helps them to enjoy extra minutes with their workouts.
When tested among competitive cyclists, yet again honey proved to improve the endurance, speed, and power of the athletes. Honey was taken a few minutes before getting off the mark and also during breaks after every 10 mile out of the total distance of 40 miles.
However, not all honey are the same. To get the best quality, check out the ones that are approved by USDA Certified Organic.
How much to consume and how? Take a spoonful of raw honey or mix it with oatmeal and take it as a pre-workout snack.
Pomegranate for muscle strength recovery
Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants that are linked to improving memory and boost brain activity, revealed a study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin. In its juice form, pomegranate aids in quick muscle recovery.
The research asked volunteers to stick to their regular diet and consume four ounces of pomegranate juice twice a day. Some of them were asked to take a placebo. Later, members of the two groups were put into resistance-training workouts and monitored for their performance. Those who took pomegranate experienced less muscle soreness for up to a week whereas the others experienced muscle soreness and weakness from the early stages.
Pomegranate gives best results when consumed raw. But if you love all fruits equally, then a fruit salad with more pomegranate might be a great choice.
Bananas for energy
Energy drinks for sports do work, but if you hate the sweetness of those drinks, the banana could be a great natural substitute to take before a long run or an extended workout at the gym, according to the researchers at the Appalachian State University. The fruit is loaded with potassium, Vitamin B6, and readily digestible carbohydrates, all of which get converted into energy once it’s absorbed by the body, reason why it is in the top seven fitness foods. Potassium helps prevent muscle cramps and improves stamina during a dehydrated workout and the sugar is natural and good for the body than the sweet you get from sports drinks. Take one banana every 30 minutes during workout for best results.
Watercress to fight cancer and DNA damage
In a study conducted by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, it was found that watercress, when consumed regularly, has the ability to naturally reduce DNA damage and supply more antioxidants to the body by increasing carotenoid concentration. For fitness freaks, the peppery green helps minimize the wear and tear of muscles during exercise making it one of the best food for fitness.
Healthy adults were asked to consume 3 ounces of the leafy vegetable once daily for eight weeks and put on the treadmill to run short bursts with repeated breaks between sessions. Those who didn’t take Watercress were asked to participate in the same exercise and later it was discovered that those who took the green vegetable experienced 17% less basal DNA damage than those who didn’t.
Just like Spinach and Kale, Watercress can be consumed in cooked form or as a salad base along with other vegetables.
Tart cherries to fight pain and regain strength
In a research conducted at the University of Vermont’s Human Performance Laboratory, it was found that cherry juice has the ability to prevent muscles damage in athletes and gym goers which makes is a good food for fitness. A group of men were asked to consume 12 ounces of cherry juice twice daily for eight days. On the fourth day, it was found that people who took cherry juice lasted longer in intense workout sessions with less complains of muscle pain and loss of strength. A couple of weeks, the same people were given the opposite beverage and asked to repeat their workouts. The results clearly showed that cherry juice had a significant impact on the individual’s performance. Those who took a placebo experienced 22 percent drop in strength which was over five times more than the 4 percent strength loss experienced by the cherry group.
Fresh tart cherries are available in supermarkets. Make a health cherry juice and gulp it down 30 minutes before exercise once daily to gain more strength and experience less muscle soreness.
Watermelon to reduce muscle soreness
In a recent study conducted by Spanish scientists, it was determined that watermelon juice is a potential drink to reduce muscle soreness in athletes, making it a perfect fitness food. Healthy young men were given 16 ounces of watermelon juice an hour before they went for a run and they reported less muscle soreness.
Watermelon is rich in natural sugar and another substance called citrulline which is linked to lower blood pressure and regulate artery functioning. In fact, the big round fruit is nicknamed ‘nature’s Viagra’ for its ability to keep the muscles calm after a long performance.
Bottled watermelon juice is available these days, however you’ll experience the best results with fresh homemade watermelon juice. Bottled drinks have depleted citrulline concentration due to processing and addition of preservatives.
The purpose of this post about the seven top fitness foods is to help create awareness among our readers about the potential benefits of natural fruits and vegetables for exercise. By depending less on commercial energy supplements and taking more of natural energy supplements, you will experienced longer and healthier workout sessions. If you found this article useful and informative, please do share it with your friends. Cheers!