THE HEALTHIEST FOODS FOR ATHLETES
Caffeine is no longer in vogue, so lean on beet juice! Recent studies by scientists from the UK have scientifically proven this: 450 ml of juice can extend the useful time of your workout by 16%! We take out a juicer and make fresh juices from the almighty root crop, since it is available in our area almost all year round.
For endurance – honey
It was not for nothing that our grandmothers told us that honey contains the entire periodic table! Scientists from the University of Physical Education and Nutrition of Memphis sing laudatory odes to him: the use of honey before training gives athletes stable energy, that is, they will not have to suffer from insulin surges, and the “even” blood sugar level, as you know, allows you not to give up ahead of time. The most natural sweetener is also capable of increasing power, speed and endurance even in the most energy-intensive workout session. This is confirmed by studies carried out on professional cyclists.
Now you know exactly what to charge before a workout: oatmeal with honey, for example.
To Prevent Muscle Fatigue – Pea Protein
It turns out that pea protein contains a unique branched chain amino acid that can help minimize muscle fatigue. This protein is rich in arginine, which boosts immunity, and lysine, which improves calcium absorption and thereby strengthens bones. One hog is enough to get a serving of 25 grams of lean protein, which can be whipped into a delicate mousse along with almond milk, a spoonful of almond butter, cinnamon and frozen berries.
To prevent inflammation – blueberries
Superberry is not only tasty, but also healthy. It helps to recover and increases the body’s resistance to inflammatory processes. A study was conducted in which professional athletes were fed blueberries for six weeks. The menu included a glass of berries plus 370 grams before a long run (two and a half hours). The results were impressive: in addition to the anti-inflammatory effect, the inclusion of blueberries in the diet had a beneficial effect on immunity. As a result, there are enough good reasons to put a small container of berries with you in your gym bag.
As a pain reliever and strength booster – cherry
An entertaining experiment was conducted at the University of Vermont. One group of athletes was given 340 ml of cherry juice twice a day, while others were given a regular placebo. The experiment lasted eight days. On the fourth day, shock strength training was performed. Two weeks later, the meals of the groups were changed and the experiment was repeated. The experiment allowed scientists to conclude that cherry juice significantly reduces muscle pain and has a beneficial effect on strength performance: the loss of strength averaged 22% in the placebo group compared to only 4% in the cherry group. The season for fresh cherries is, alas, short, but its frozen version is not inferior in benefits to the body.
Muscle Building – Salmon
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are overwhelming. It turns out that they not only help fight heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but they also stimulate muscle growth. An experiment was carried out on bulls. Some were given cottonseed and olive oils as an additive, others – fish oil. As a result, muscle development in the second group was much more intense: the bodies of bulls used twice as many amino acids to build new tissue proteins, especially skeletal muscles. We lean more on salmon dishes and make several “fish Thursdays” during the week. For those who don’t like fish, there is a great alternative in the form of algae.
To reduce muscle pain – watermelon
Recently, Spanish scientists have found that watermelon juice drunk per hour of training (450 ml) can relieve muscle pain. Probably, this effect is due to citrulline, which is contained in decent quantities in everyone’s favorite melons. This natural substance improves arterial function and is able to lower blood pressure (also called natural Viagra). You can drink watermelon fresh juices, or you can grab the pink pulp with appetite and eat to the very white crust: it is in it that the maximum amount of citrulline is concentrated.
To restore muscle strength – pomegranate
The antioxidants in pomegranates have guarded memory and brain activity, and now scientists attribute a new super property to it – improving muscle recovery. This conclusion made it possible to make an experiment. The researchers recruited volunteers who were supposed to continue to eat their usual diet, but one group was to drink an additional 115 ml of pomegranate juice twice a day, while the other took a placebo. Both groups trained in the same way, but those who consumed pomegranate juice reported less post-workout muscle pain and recovered in less than 7 days. So feel free to add healthy grains to porridge, parfaits or salads, make fresh juices.
To save energy for the next day – coffee
A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology claims that glycogen, the main carbohydrate safe in our body, replenishes faster when caffeine and carbohydrates are consumed simultaneously after a grueling workout. Compared to consuming only carbohydrates in the post-workout time, this “duet” increased muscle glycogen stores by up to 66% 4 hours after intense exercise. This is pleasing, because the more glycogen is accumulated in the muscles, the more shock the next workout will be.
To prevent damage to DNA strands – watercress
Watercress, a mustard plant, can counteract the “wear and tear” of exercise. This statement came from a study published in the British Journal of Healthy Eating. Healthy young men included a serving of 120 grams of watercress for 8 weeks. They were asked to take part in workouts that included short, intense exercise. The results of the training were compared with the results of the group where a serving of watercress was consumed once, two hours before training. Both groups experienced the same benefits in the form of less DNA strand damage.
Watercress makes a great salad base, as well as spinach and kale, or adds spicy notes to your favorite smoothie.
To relieve post-workout stress – dark chocolate
Numerous studies have long established the status of dark chocolate as a superfood. A new study published in the European Journal of Healthy Nutrition further reinforces this status. In the experiment, healthy men were asked to eat 120 g of dark chocolate with a cocoa content of about 70% two hours before a long (two and a half hours) cycling workout. This helped increase the levels of antioxidants in the blood and reduce stress in the cells. Now you can eat a couple of slices of chocolate a day without any remorse: add to fruit salads, desserts and smoothies.