5 Foods That Power Up Your Workout

Coffee

Runners love a cup of pre-race joe for the pep it puts in their step. “Research shows that the caffeine in coffee can enhance physical endurance and stamina, making a long run or ride feel easier,” says Molly Kimball, R.D., sports dietitian with Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center in New Orleans.

Try it iced or hot a half hour before a gym sesh, but if it upsets your stomach, push it back to an hour. Not crazy for coffee? Iced or hot green tea works too. Feel free to add milk, but skip the sugar, which can negate the caffeine kick.

Ginger

Sore muscles often feel rewarding after a hard workout, but intense aches just plain hurt. The fix? Ginger. Consuming half a teaspoon of the raw root or ground herb lessened next-day muscle soreness by 25 percent in one study, likely because ginger contains pungent pain-relieving chemicals such as gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone.

Research in the Journal of Pain suggests that it can even be more effective than popping NSAIDs. Drop a few slices of fresh ginger into your tea while it’s steeping or use ground ginger in a marinade for chicken or pork.

Apples

An apple a day…Okay you know the drill. But add this to what apples can do: The fruit is bursting with a substance called quercetin, which can improve energy metabolism to increase endurance. In one study, taking quercetin supplements helped untrained cyclists ride 13 percent longer.

While you’d have to eat a ton of apples for the same dose of quercetin used in the study, it can’t hurt to make the fruit your snack of choice, as they may help keep you going on long rides or runs.

Tomato juice

A (virgin) bloody Mary just may be the best fuel for spin class. Drinking five ounces of tomato juice for five weeks reduced free-radical damage from an intense cycling test, per new research in Nutrition Journal. Researchers credit the lycopene, an antioxidant that soaks up tissue-damaging compounds. The result? You’ll feel so good you’ll be ready to kick butt again in class tomorrow.

Leafy greens

Salad isn’t only good for your thighs: People who ate three ounces of delicate, spicy watercress for eight weeks daily before strenuous exercise had less post-workout muscle damage. The veggies pack a wallop of nutrients such as beta carotene and vitamin E to flush waste out of muscles and speed up repair, say researchers in the British Journal of Nutrition.

You’ll probably get the best results after long-term use, Kimball says, although the study did show a similar effect when watercress was eaten just two hours pre-workout. Stock up on any green—kale, Swiss chard, arugula—and consider adding a splash of olive oil, as fat enhances the absorption of beta carotene and other nutrients.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also find interesting :

8 Packaged Food Words That Should Worry You

Even though about two-thirds of Americans read the Nutrition Facts, most people only have a limited understanding of what they are reading. Just because something says organic, it’s good for

10 Facts About Keto Diet You Should Know

First off, let’s review what the keto diet actually is. As a low-carb and high-fat diet, it drastically reduces your carbs and replaces them with fat. Putting your body in

9 Surprisingly Good Uses For Salt

We all have salt somewhere in our homes. However, people tend to take advantage of its cooking purposes without realizing how many other uses it has around the house. Salt

7 Ways Seafood Can Improve Your Body

Our regular diets lack many of the essential nutrients that our bodies need to fight diseases, maintain an average weight, and age well. That’s why, in the US, there has

11 Least Unhealthy Junk Foods

From time to time, the munchies strike. Sometimes with warning signs, but usually out of nowhere. It’s a craving for junk food, and it can be powerful. Sometimes these cravings

eat healthy & recipes

10 Super Foods All Seniors Should Be Eating

Aging comes with many obstacles, especially when referring to our overall health, as the most common age-related diseases are cardiovascular disease, cataracts, cancer, arthritis, hypertension, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and

11 Foods That Fight Chronic Diseases

One of the best ways to keep diseases at bay is to make sure your diet is abundant in antioxidants. Although our bodies produce antioxidants, it’s best to keep your

11 Foods That Are Good for Gut Health

Common gut issues such as bloating, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome can destroy your day in several ways. And it’s not just your day affected, but your overall health, too.

11 Foods That Combat Lung Inflammation

Known by doctors as pneumonitis, lung inflammation is more common than you think, and it can be caused by various things like mold, bacteria, fungi, and chemicals. And even though

Fitness

beauty & tips

10 Exercises That Can Bolster Your Brain Power

When you’re working out, a few things are probably running through your mind. Changing your body composition, burning calories, building more muscle, or strengthening your cardiovascular system. But did you

11 Foods You Should NEVER Eat Raw Again

There are plenty of foods out there that can be easily and safely consumed raw. Most fruits, for example, are perfect on-the-go snacks since you don’t have to prepare anything

18 Foods That Work as Natural Laxatives

Are your bowel movements regular? Bowel movement frequency varies greatly from person to person, but, as a general rule, you should not experience pain or cramps while pooping. Normal bowel

From Our Network