Well, eating is the key to achieving your goals in athletics, says personal trainer and vitamins nutritionist Kyle Byron. “If your goals are modest, you should act modestly, but if you have outstanding goals, you need to eat well,” says Byron. Read on for what to eat, and when at Pharmaca’s medical services.
It’s easy to envy the omnipresent physics of professional athletes and assume that they subsist on protein powders, energy bars, or other food supplements to maintain their competitive forms. But as a sports nutritionist who has worked with multiple elite athletes, including cyclists, swimmers, triathletes, and CrossFit competitors, I know that they achieve optimum results by consistently eating vitamins and healthy food.
Amino acids help build connective tissue and muscle, so you should reach for protein within 15 minutes of your workout to reap all its benefits. It is advised to take a lean cut of meat like grilled chicken or a cup of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.
Caffeine can boost your athletic performance as it can help the nervous system respond quicker, minimize pain, and help accelerate our muscle contractions. Drink hourly and a half of a cup of coffee before a workout to maximize its buzzy benefits. Steer clear of supplements containing caffeine and stick with a cup of joe, since it also includes antioxidants. But be warned, too much will affect your performance and make you jittery or nauseous.
After a workout, many people don’t eat because they don’t want the extra calories, but that’s a significant mistake. Within 15 minutes of completing your sweat session, Nosh on a piece of fruit to help preserve your energy levels and improve your immune system, which is weakened right after an intense workout. The fruit is filled with vitamins and minerals, it’s easy, and it tastes terrific, he says. Try mixing a banana with a protein such as a peanut butter and Greek yogurt. Another perfect fruit to eat after exercise is pineapple since it is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Fresh herbs such as garlic and ginger are essential anti-inflammatory agents to improve post-workout recovery in your body. Ginger is perfect for the immune system that is weakened immediately after a high-intensity workout, and studies have shown that it can alleviate muscle pain too. Garlic is also a proven immune booster, and studies show that garlic can reduce heart strain during workouts and improve your vo2 max or maximum oxygen intake during cardio. Grate a bit of fresh ginger into your morning smoothie and Nosh for an afternoon snack on fresh garlic mashed with avocado.
A great way to fit your workout and recovery into many powerhouse ingredients is through smoothies. Pack your pre- and a post-workout smoothie with ingredients such as a scoop of protein powder or plain Greek yogurt (to help rebuild your muscle), half a cup of fresh pineapple (anti-inflammatory benefits), a quarter cup of dark berries such as blueberries, pomegranate seeds or cherries (rich in antioxidants), a handful of baby spinach (rich in antioxidants such as chlorophyll), bananas (for circulation-boosting effects).
Oatmeal is quick to cook; it keeps you feeling full longer and gives you a steady energy hit. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and protein powder or Greek yogurt, which can help control blood sugar levels. Wholesale grains such as oatmeal have been shown to help reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If you can eat it before a workout, make sure that you leave for digestion for at least an hour
After workouts, eat anti-inflammatory foods, which will help to reduce pain, improve mobility, and accelerate recovery if you are most sore a day or two after workouts. Mangoes are composed of several anti-inflammatory compounds, including vitamin C, beta carotene, gallic acid, and gallotannins. A cup of mango packs for just 100 calories in 35 percent of vitamin A and with 100 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement.
Recent studies show that raspberries produce compounds that can improve nitric oxide production, thereby increasing oxygen delivery to muscles. Raspberries are also a top source of healthy antioxidants, including vitamin C, as well as anthocyanins and ellagitannins, in addition to being fiber-rich. Mounting evidence indicates that they could improve the antioxidant protection mechanism in your body. Antioxidants can help restore damage to the muscle tissue and inflammation of the temperature after strenuous exercise, strength training, or high-intensity interval training such as CrossFit.