Success Story Part III: Nutrition is key!
GETTING FIT: Boost Muscle Growth with Power Food
You’re all about muscle growth and training? Great! Did you know you can boost muscle growth and complement your training sessions with the right nutrition before, during and after your workout? Read on to learn how. You’ll quickly see it’s not that tricky and certainly worth the effort!
For leisure athletes, it’s best to follow the recommendations of a basic healthy and balanced diet. Special and cost-intensive supplements are usually not necessary. When it comes to sports and nutrition, protein is the first thing that comes to our minds. For obvious reasons, as they are responsible for muscle formation and regeneration. But don’t you worry – a typical, balanced diet covers the protein requirement of leisure athletes and weekend warriors. The simple equation “More proteins = More muscles” doesn’t work out. The fact is that an increased protein intake does not lead to muscle growth unless it is accompanied by corresponding training sessions.
Tip: Proteins are not only found in animal products. Products like soy, potatoes, legumes and cereals represent a vitamin-rich alternative to meat, fish and the like.
Get ready: 1 hour before your workout
Nobody likes working out with a growling stomach. So, enjoy a small, high-carb, low-fiber and low-fat snack. It will provide you with energy without straining your digestion.
- Opt for bananas as energy providers. They are rich in carbohydrates. which areresponsible for a slow rise of your blood sugar level, thereby preventing aperformance drop during your training session. Plus, potassium supports your muscle functions!
You can also try a low-fat fruit yogurt. It will provide you with carbohydrates, proteins and fat, while taking it easy on your digestion.
Tip: Avoid working out with a full stomach. It makes breathing more laborious and requires blood for digestion that you really need in your muscles!
On the go: During your workout
Leisure athletes don’t require food intake during their sport activities. However, this is not true for the intake of fluids. When your activity lasts less than one hour, you can refill your reserves afterwards with tap water or mineral water. When working out for more than one hour, drink 0.25 l every 20 minutes. Your body loses valuable minerals when sweating and you should make sure to refill those deposits. As an added bonus, sufficient fluid intake reduces the likelihood of you suffering from cramps.
Suggestion: Drink diluted fruit juices during longer workouts (one hour and longer) to replenish your energy and mineral reserves. Mix three parts water with one part juice to get benefits without a sugar overload.
Tip: Make sure your drink is not toooo cold and take small sips rather than big gulps!
Reload: 1 hour after your workout
After your workout is before your (next) workout! Your carbohydrate reserves are empty and need to be refilled. Here, a mix of carbohydrates and proteins is the best choice. It helps your muscle cells recover and regenerate faster.
Suggestion: The following items are ideal ingredients for your after-workout meals:
- Shrimps: Provide you with proteins + omega-3 fatty acids. Perfect for muscle growth.
- Lentils: Rich in fibers + carbohydrates + proteins. You body needs time to digest them and they contain fewer calories than pasta or rice.
- Chickpeas: Delicious and provide you with L-arginine, an amino acid from which your body can build performance-boosting nitrogen monoxide.
Yogurt: Contains valuable calcium to support muscle growth.
Tip: The better your nutrition after your workout, the better your performance during the next workout. By combining proteins, healthy fatty acids and complex carbohydrates, you create a solid basis for your next training session. And, the better you feel, the more likely you are to keep going 😉