Healthy Foods That Should Be Staples in Your Workout Diet
For an effective workout, your body needs the fuel and sustenance to stay energized, build and repair muscle, and optimize your heart and lungs. To properly prepare your body, you need to consume the right foods. Empty calories won’t cut it. The right staples in your workout diet should be nutrient-rich and targeted toward your needs.
Brown rice and white rice come from the same plant, but they are processed differently. Brown rice retains the bran, which is the outer coating of the grain, and the germ, which is like the seed of the grain. Brown rice therefore has more fiber and more nutrients compared to white rice.
This additional nutrition can help you with your workout in a number of ways. Although both types of rice are carbs, brown rice has more amino acids and antioxidants. Amino acids help build muscle and antioxidants work to rid the body of toxins after a workout.
Another example of staples in your workout diet is fish. Your body needs the right nutrients for optimal fitness, and fish are one of the best sources. Fish are a great source of nutrients like protein, vitamin D and Omega-3s. Compared to other animal proteins, fish protein is lower in fat, and the fats it does contain are healthy.
Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for working out because they increase oxygen flow to your blood and muscles and aid your body in using protein effectively. Omega-3 also increases your endurance and reduces inflammation. If you’re often sore after a workout, eating more fish may help.
Eating fruit can be beneficial before, during, and after a workout. Fruit is fiber-rich and a complex carbohydrate, meaning it provides you with sustained energy without the sugar crash that happens with simple carbs. It’s also naturally hydrating, so it’s perfect before a workout.
After a workout, fruit helps to restore the glycogen, or natural glucose, that is stored within your muscles. Berries and bananas are especially good choices. Berries are natural antioxidants that can flush the waste that builds up during a workout. Bananas will replenish your body’s potassium and help reduce muscle cramps.
A healthy diet for working out includes staples that are rich in protein, micronutrients, and antioxidants. All are essential in preparing your body for your workout routine and restoring your body’s balance afterward. As you make dietary changes, and include these staples in your workout diet, you’ll feel the benefits of eating fresh, whole foods.
Check out this article on small changes that can make big health differences!