Nutrition

6 foods to improve your workout

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

6 foods to improve your workout

Whether you're trying to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health or tone your muscles, the foods you fuel your body with can have a dramatic effect on the results you reap from your workouts. When selecting foods for fitness, the elements you should focus on are foods that are nutrient dense, calorie light, anti-inflammatory and hydrating.

Here are 6 foods that are perfect pre or post workout
1. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurts are strained yogurts. They offer an ideal amount of protein, are low in calories and have a thick and creamy texture. If you are used to eating sweeter yogurt, simply add honey or berries for some additional sweetness.

2. Quinoa
Quinoa receives a lot of accolades because of its nutritional attributes – and rightfully so. High in fiber and protein - and gluten free - this tasty grain is perfect to eat pre or post workout. This tasty protein-packed grain can be combined with vegetables, beans, chicken or tofu for a perfectly balanced meal.

3. Walnuts
Compared to other nuts, walnuts have the greatest amount of omega-3 essential fats. This type of fat is anti-inflammatory and has been proven to help boost metabolism and promote weight loss. Fats are ideal to have post work out (too much fat pre-work out can slow you down). Opt for 10-12 walnuts in some Greek yogurt or with a piece of fruit after hitting the gym.

4. Whole eggs
Eating a hard-boiled egg with a little bit of sea salt is the perfect snack before or after your work out. Containing only 70 calories per egg and all nine essential amino acids, they are a complete protein that will help build and repair your muscles. Do not avoid eating the yolk – this is where most of the nutrients lie.

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5. Watermelon
In addition to quenching thirst (watermelon has a water concentration of 92 per cent), watermelon is also packed with vitamin C and A, and contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent workout-related injuries. Watermelon is also a very concentrated source of the phytonutrient called lycopene – a plant chemical that has a protective effect over a variety of cancers.

6. Protein bars
Protein bars are great grab-and-go options for pre or post workout fuel. When choosing a protein bar, ensure you are picking one that has no artificial ingredients or sweeteners, is low in added sugar and is made with a high-quality protein such as a whey protein isolate. Eating an entire protein bar prior to a workout may be a little too filling, so simply break off a small piece before starting your routine.

Whether you're lifting weights, doing hot yoga or are heading out for a run, here are a few simple food rules to keep in mind:

Eat light
A small 100-calorie snack prior to your workout is ideal (try a piece of fruit, small yogurt or small handful of nuts). Anything more can leave you feeling too full and sluggish to workout to your maximum potential.

Follow up with protein
Following your workout, eat a small amount of protein like yogurt, chicken or turkey. Protein will help to repair and restore muscles.

Hydrate often
Remember to drink water pre, during and post workout to ensure you stay properly hydrated.

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Dr. Joey Shulman is the author of The Last 15 – A Weight Loss Breakthrough and founder of The Shulman Weight Loss Clinics. For more information, please visit www.drjoey.com.
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Nutrition

6 foods to improve your workout

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