Why Proper Nutrition is So Important After Exercise

We’ve all heard the expression before, ‘You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.’ Meaning, no matter how much we exercise, if we still eat junk we will not see any results from our hard work in the gym.  On top of  not seeing health benefits such as weight loss, development of lean muscle tissue, reduced blood pressure or reduced cholesterol, you could actually be doing your body more harm by exercising vigorously and continuing to eat a diet rich in saturated fat, processed sugars and dairy.

Vigorous exercise is a form of stress on the body.  Think about it.  Your heart rate is up, more oxygen is needed to various muscles for your workout.  Your body temperature is rising- your body releases sweat to cool itself down. And that feeling of post-workout soreness? Tiny, microscopic damage to muscle fibers are created when muscles are required to work harder than normal or in a different way than usual.  That’s a lot of stress on the body!

Add to that the standard American  diet which is rich in foods that cause inflammation within our system, raise our blood sugars and raise our blood pressure.  Inflammation from food can cause high glucose levels, digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea, weight gain and skin issues like eczema, redness, itchy or dry skin.  Wow. It really seems like our bodies are under attack.  And think about it, we are the ones attacking it by the food choices we make.

If you are working out and causing stress to the body, and following that up with foods that cause stress on the body, in the long run, you may actually be making things worse.

Common foods that cause inflammation in our body include: sugar, red meat, any dairy product (cow’s milk does NOT do a body good), deep fried foods, alcohol, food preservatives, dyes and additives (found mostly in packaged foods).

Common foods that FIGHT inflammation in our body include: green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale), broccoli, bright colored berries and citrus fruits, nuts (almonds and walnuts), beets (peel and chop up a raw beet, place 1/2 of it in a high speed blender with your protein powder for a quick boot root smoothie), wild caught salmon and hemp seeds (you can find these in the sports nutrition aisle in Wegman’s, also called Hemp Hearts- add them to smoothies and oatmeal).

In addition to these foods, we also have to address muscle soreness caused by working out.  We need to help our muscles recover and repair the tears.  Our body does this on its own using amino acids from protein that is found in our food.  Protein is abundant in many foods- not just animal flesh.  Whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc contain protein as well as lean animal flesh like chicken breast and fish.  Additionally- the SunWarrior protein powder contains all 9 essential amino acids (as well as others) and the three Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) that help burn fat and build lean muscle.  So the shake is a great snack to add to your daily diet to help your body recover from your intense workouts.

If you’re going to work out to get healthy, it only makes sense that you eat foods that support that same goal.  In addition to losing weight and adding lean muscle tissue, you’ll be doing your body a tremendous health benefit by eliminating or greatly reducing some of the foods that are common causes of stress and inflammation on the body. Continuing to choose foods that are harmful to yourself is like waging a war on your own body.  In the end, you will win the war because your body will break down and give up.

For help losing weight and getting healthy, join one of our weight loss challenges in Monmouth County.  We offer healthy and holistic weight loss meal plans and offer group training at our boot camp gym.  Fill out a contact form on the right hand side or text our Nutritionist for more info: 732-757-7944

 


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