As much as some of us don’t want to admit it… abs are made in the kitchen. Working out is only a part of the journey to get in shape. What you eat is a crucial factor, especially if you’re looking to fuel your workouts.
You want to incorporate foods that help performance, recovery, and the building of muscles, like the ones listed below.
- Beets: Whether you’re throwing them in a salad or making them into a juice, beets are worth a chance in your diet. They have loads of nitrates that help deliver oxygen to your muscles. This reduces fatigue, making it the breakfast choice for runners. Research says it actually boosts energy more than caffeine.
- Tart Cherries: Cherry juice helps with pain reduction and thus enables you to push harder through strength training routines. They are rich with polyphenolic compounds like anthocyanins that decrease inflammation. Since these are seasonal, you may have to opt for a frozen or dried version.
- Bananas: These work great for fueling your workout. Bananas have vitamin B6, which literally helps convert food into energy during exercise. It also has potassium, which helps prevent muscle fatigue.
- Salmon: Fatty fish like salmon have several health benefits thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids. Amino acids, besides being high in protein, help rebuild and repair muscle. Not only that, but omega-3s help with your heart and brain. So, you definitely want to have this post-workout. If you’re not a meat-eater, consider getting omega-3s from flax seeds and algae-based substitutes. Protein can be obtained from peas, beans, and soy.
- Ginger: This spicy root actually helps relieve soreness because it consists of gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone. One of the easiest ways to enjoy ginger is to boil slices and make tea from it.
- Coffee: Coffee is probably not the first thing you think of when you’re meal prepping for a healthy week, but caffeine can really help you reach your fitness goals. The caffeine in coffee will help with stamina, energy, and focus. Consider having a coffee after working out since having it combined with a carbohydrate will allow your body to store more glycogen, aka fuel. If you’re not a fan of coffee, try green tea.