Fitness buff? Aspiring fitness buff? If you’re already taking the time to drive all the way to the gym and carving out an hour + of your time to work out, you might as well get the most of it, right? (And no, flipping through a magazine while sitting on a stationary bike is not considered getting the most out of your work out, or working out at all for that matter.) To maximize the potential of every single workout you do, make sure to follow these essential nutrition tips that will set your body up for success at the gym!
Eat Protein For Breakfast
Protein for breakfast is like purchasing an investment that will completely pay off later in the day. Foods like beef, chicken, turkey, or salmon give you an array of amino acids that stimulate the energizing chemical messengers dopamine and acetylcholine to make you extra focused and help you outperform at the gym. Like you needed another excuse to eat a meat-filled breakfast?
Don’t Train on an Empty Stomach
The research has proven it. Eating a slow-digesting meal prior to exercise, increases fat burning and raises excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which basically means you boost your metabolism after working out! So don’t show up to the gym on an empty stomach, fasted training is dangerous and not to mention, not effective.
Avoid High-Saturated Fat Foods Pre-Workout
Before working out, you should be avoiding foods high in saturated fats at all costs. Eating these types of foods hinders the dilation of the blood vessels for up to four hours after eating them, causing your blood flow to drop by sometimes more than 50 percent! The culprits are foods such as eggs, hash browns or sausages.
Support Blood Flow with Fish Oil
To support your blood flow during your workout, make sure to supplement with some natural fish oil, a healthy fat. Yes, we’re also jumping on the fish oil bandwagon. Not only does it improve blood flow and insulin health, but it has also been shown to increase vasodilation, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Have Quality Carbs for Dinner
More often than not, people feel like “rewarding” themselves at dinnertime after a hard workout by eating hyperpalatable refined carbs, which inevitably leads to overeating, doesn’t supply the antioxidants your body needs to recover and undoes all your hard work. Just say no. Instead, grab some high-quality complex carbs like starchy vegetables, heirloom grains, dark-colored fruit or a piece of chocolate. These help lower cortisol and have a calming effect on the body.