Power up your workout
By Bruce Krahn
Many recreational athletes are looking for that extra something to improve their performance, help them recover well, and maximize the benefits of exercise.
This is where exercise nutrition comes in. If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, the best place to start is with whole foods, and whole food-derived beverages and supplements. Science has shown that the nutrients in specific foods can aid your workout and your recovery.
Potato protein isolate
Whey protein is a popular choice for building muscle and strength. But if you’re unable to digest whey or choose to follow a vegan lifestyle, try potato protein isolate. It contains branched chain amino acids to support muscle synthesis, counter fatigue, and assist in muscle recovery.
Apple peels are rich sources of the antioxidants that fight free radical damage. Studies show that apple peels’ high levels of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity may provide health benefits. Increased antioxidant activity may help reduce muscle strain and injury.
Beets are getting a lot of attention in the sports nutrition world, because studies show that beet juice helps to open the blood vessels, allowing for greater oxygen uptake. Beet juice is a great source of complex carbohydrates, providing energy during exercise. It’s also been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure.
Nature’s sports drink, coconut water is a good source of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Sodium-enriched coconut water was shown to be as effective as a commercial sports drink for rehydrating the body after exercise-induced dehydration, with better fluid tolerance.
Fresh orange juice is a nutritious, natural way to give the body the quick-release carbohydrates such as glucose that are needed to restore the body’s energy stores. This is essential for quick recovery from exercise.
Tart cherry juice
Tart cherry juice is high in anthocyanins, which help lower inflammation. It may help relieve joint and muscle inflammation, allowing exercisers to recover faster. A 2010 study found that drinking tart cherry juice seven days prior to and during a long-distance running event, such as a marathon, may reduce muscle pain after the event.
Lemon verbena extract
Research shows that lemon verbena extract has anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties, as well as antioxidant support that may help to decrease muscle soreness and improve recovery time. It has also been shown to reduce muscular damage caused by regular running activities.
About the Author
Bruce Krahn has been impacting lives one body at a time since 1995. He is an author and fitness trainer who specializes in healthy fat loss.