By Sofía González B.
Fitness enthusiasts have always been looking for ways to ensure their bodies comply with specific fitness goals: either losing weight, gaining muscle, working on resistance or getting ready for a race. However, in order to help your body perform better and recover faster after each workout, research has directed its attention at well-being rather than specific diets.
The body doesn't rely on one specific factor to improve. A combination of good dietary habits, exercise and a deepened sense of awareness all contribute to a healthier, more meaningful life. In the past decade, researchers have made great progress on the science of well-being and have agreed that the conditions mentioned above make for a healthy body (and mind!).
Because of this, we'll only explore why incorporating fruits into your fitness regime is an excellent step towards a strong, healthy and fit body. But we won't talk exclusively about fresh fruit, this post will also explore why adding dehydrated fruits can be very beneficial.
Timing Is Everything
Good nutrition can help your body perform better. And by good nutrition, we mean consuming carbohydrates, proteins and nutrients before and after each session to give you the strength you need. In his book Nutrient Timing, Dr. John Ivy states the potential benefits of eating the right things at the right time.
For people who are looking at enhancing their performance, doctors recommend having a full meal: carbs, protein and fat - at least two to three hours before the session. You may also do a smaller meal or a snack 45 minutes before, keeping in mind that these foods must be higher in nutrients but simpler to digest.
What's the perfect pre-workout snack? Fresh fruit and dehydrated fruit.
Dehydrated Foods Before You Move
First things first: carbs are not evil. Contrary to popular belief, carbs are required for a good training session. According to dieticians such as Jessica Jones, a pre-workout meal should provide the energy you need to withstand all the hard work you do at the gym. Dried or dehydrated fruit is a good option.
Why? Dehydrated fruit contains more sugar than fresh fruit, while keeping all the nutrients intact. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, and when consumed it provides the body with a quick energy boost. Because it is quicker to process than protein or fats, fruits are usually recommended as a quick and easy pre-workout snack.
What are some good pre-workout meals? A few pieces of dehydrated pineapple with Greek yoghurt and nuts is an ideal pre-workout meal. Another option is eliminating the dairy and just have the fruit and nuts. It's a good combination by itself.
There's science behind this, of course. Author Brandan Brazier indicated that people should look for "foods with the majority of carbohydrate and a small amount of protein. I usually grab a handful of almonds and dried fruit, like raisins (...)." Having more carbs than protein in your workout snack helps boost your body before a workout and replenish any lost sugars in your muscles after a workout.
Can’t fuss over preparing a pre-working meal? Just grab a Nunu bar.
Eating Artisan Food After a Workout
Your body uses up sugars when it works out. The same happens with protein. Not providing your body with the appropriate replenishment may result in muscle loss, which is what most people interested in fitness are not looking forward to. Eating the right foods can actually help your muscles regrow muscle proteins.
What's good after a workout? Protein, carbs and fat. Protein helps repair muscle, carbs aid with recovery and fat helps with nutrient absorption. Experts recommend a quick recovery snack, such as smoothie with fresh fruit, almond milk and nuts to replenish your body before an actual meal. You don't need that much to recover, as a matter of fact.
A study from the Shriners Burns Institute in Galveston, Texas has shown that you only need a handful of nuts (or its equivalent), to recover the protein lost during exercise. Be sure to eat three or four times that amount in carbs, and do so within 30 minutes after your session.
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