Embarking on a healthy lifestyle can be both life changing and a difficult journey, despite the amazing results that follow when you stick to it. It can be hard to maintain energy through workouts and having the right foods to help your body repair after a day full of vigorous exercise. Often, you need extra energy in the morning to be able to wake up and do the whole routine again but finding which food and drinks can aid you in this can be a struggle. In fact, it can be tempting to fall back into eating your favorite junk foods, even though you know this isn’t what is best for you. Luckily, there are ways for you to consume tasty, fresh foods that will help you stay on your feet and continue down your path to a healthier you.
Coffee is a great source of caffeine that many people rely on when they are in the gym to give them enough energy to complete a workout. However, the caffeine crash that often follows can leave you with less energy than you started with. You can also become more reliant on coffee as a way of staying alert. This is why green tea is a better option for your workout routine. With less caffeine than coffee or tea, but with enough to give you a subtle boost of energy, you can avoid caffeine crashes and sustain your energy by eating slow-release carbohydrates through the day.
Whole grain cereals
One of the best examples of a slow-release carbohydrate is whole grain cereals, which are full of un-refined carbohydrates and fiber. Not only do they contribute to a healthy digestive system, but you will find that you stay full for longer and won’t need to snack as much through your workouts. An hour before you go to the gym, have a big bowl of muesli or oatmeal as a way of getting your whole grain cereals into your body.
Water is something you should be drinking whether you are exercising or not, as it helps you stay hydrated and keeps your brain sharp for the day ahead. It also transports nutrients around your body so that you don’t suffer from muscle cramps or feel run down after a workout. Though it is recommended for you to drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day, when you have a thorough exercise routine, you should consider upping this to 8-10 glasses.
Bananas are one of the richest sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates, which will be a much-needed component to keeping energy levels high during your workout. Some studies have even reported that if you eat half a banana every fifteen minutes during your exercise, then you will sustain your performance as much as you would sipping an energy drink.
While water is essential for you to bring to your workouts, coconut water is rich in minerals and vitamins that water lacks in. These include potassium and magnesium, but you will also find that there are next to no salt and very few calories in it, which make it an excellent choice for those wanting to lose weight by working out. Finding the best coconut water can be tricky, but looking to a company such as New Age Beverages can make the process much easier.
Almonds have long been consumed due to their rich stores of protein, which many vegans and vegetarians can find when they don’t eat meat. Protein is essential for the repair of your muscles after intense workouts, as it allows your body to be ready to take on the gym by the time your next session rolls around when your muscles grow stronger. Almonds are not only rich in this, but they are packed full of anti-oxidants to help your body keep blood sugar levels regulated.
An ideal way to get almonds into your body is by eating them in nut butter form, which you can make at home using a blender, some nuts, and a dash of honey to make a healthy alternative to store-bought butter. You can make these using cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, and many more, all of which are full of slow-release energy and protein. A large spread of nut butter on some wholemeal, seeded toast is one of the best ways to start your active day.
Nut butter is also becoming an essential part of smoothies. Where smoothies used to be filled with fruit, people are now recognizing the benefits of adding some protein into the mix, as it will help keep you full for longer, but also give you the energy you need to start your workout. Almond butter, spinach, kale, chia seeds and quinoa are all popular choices for people who want to ensure they are packing their smoothie with the most protein possible, and they often taste great or tasteless alongside a multitude of fruit and vegetables.
One vitamin that people underestimate when it comes to exercise is Vitamin D; while many people think you can only get this from soaking up the sun, salmon has a high amount of the vitamin in it. Vitamin D helps transport the highest levels of calcium to your bones, which you will need to keep your skeleton strong and ready to push yourself.
Tomatoes are a superfood that is full of minerals and anti-oxidants, which many people have started to use to make their skin glow. Yet, their best use lies in how they help your body function during exercise, and in recovery, as they contain chemicals that block oxidative damage to the muscles. You can eat them regularly to see the benefits or take some tomato juice with you to drink during your workout to get a concentrated amount.
During workouts, your body will need boosts of energy to increase your performance and keep focused for longer. In fact, some studies have even shown that they are better for your body than energy bars. They are also an essential source of potassium, which will fuel your muscles when you lose many minerals as you sweat.