By Saiyed M. Fauzan Ali
Exercising is highly critical to our health and wellbeing. Our bodies are designed to be kept regularly active. Just like a car is manufactured to drive and keep functional, our bodies are manufactured to keep moving. If we take the car on a 3 kilometer round trip on a weekly basis, the car will develop engine problems and will eventually lose its performance. Similarly, humans are meant to stay active because people often get prone to illnesses and other functional issues when they reduce the amount of exercise, which is important to their body. Likewise, working out on a daily basis and with consistency is critical to achieving your health goals and fitness results.
In this intrepid and fitness-driven biosphere, the key to survival is to be strong, look impressive and feel better every day. However, time is of significant value, and every workout needs commitment and dedication for producing results. Stressed and painful muscles, low levels of energy, unfinished sets, lengthy workouts, and sloppy results leaves you thinking that your time spent at the gym was all for nothing. Nonetheless, there is a key to improving your workout and produce desired results. But first you need to understand that commitment is the key to achieving anything, you need to constantly remind yourself that ‘You Got This’.
Now coming to the secret behind nailing those power workouts, and achieving anticipated results. I recommend three power snacks that will provide your body with an extra advantage when you’re exercising, or when your body is recovering from that crazy workout. So without further ado, here are the three power loaded snacks that will boost your next workout.
Peanuts are highly rich in protein. In a health study conducted by Arya, Slave, and Chauhan, (2016) it was revealed that Peanuts significantly improves the heart health. Peanuts reduce the total body cholesterol, LDL’s and increase the HDL’s to a significant level. Hence, peanuts are the best source of quality protein and have been added to the functional food landscape. According to another health study conducted by Moore, et al., (2009) A high amount of protein/amino acids are found to be highly critical for the upkeep of the skeletal tissues and muscle performance in young athletes. Hence, protein is found to aid in the repairing of the muscles, and fuels your body muscle building functionality. Therefore, munch on a handful of peanuts within a half hour after your workout.
- Dried Blueberries
Dried Blueberries are a rich source of anti-oxidants and Carbohydrates. A recent health study has revealed that 375g of blueberries consumed one hour before the workout reduces oxidative stress, which boosts the energy levels. It also increases the anti-inflammatory cytokines, which reduces post-workout muscle pain (Ohr, 2017). The probiotics, Proteins, and Carbohydrates present in these delectable treats helps in keeping you healthy and active.
Consume around 375g of dried blueberries one hour prior to your workout, or within half an hour post-workout for improved results.
- Dark Chocolate Chips
You probably wouldn’t need an explanation to add a handful of chocolate chips to your diet. Nevertheless, these delicious treats possess a number of health benefits, which actually gives you a justified reason to add them to your daily diet.
The health benefits of Chocolate Consumption has been well documented in the health-related literature (Grassi, et al., 2005; Buijsse, et al., 2006; Allen, et al., 2008). A health study took into account 975 subjects, who responded to a Fred Hutchinson Food Frequency Questionnaire. The study claimed that chocolate had a positive impact on blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and the levels of cholesterol. Furthermore, it was revealed that adults who consumed chocolate on a frequent basis had a lower BMI as compared to those who consumed chocolate less often (Golomb, et al., 2012).
Another Health Study conducted by Davison, et al., (2012) revealed that consumption of dark chocolate increases the plasma epicatechin concentration in the body, which improves cardiac efficiency, lowers down lipid peroxidation, and prevents platelet accretion. Moreover, it also contributes to the Total Antioxidant Status (TAS). Therefore, Dark Chocolate Chips prevent muscle pain and increase endurance. They also improve your blood flow, which aids in the replenishment of your hard working muscles. So grab a pack of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Chips, and take a handful one hour prior to your workout, or within a half hour post workout.
With these three super foods, you will not only accomplish your desired fitness goals, but they will also help improve your overall health and well being. So make them a part of your daily diet, and live strong.
Allen RR, et al., 2008. Daily consumption of a dark chocolate containing flavanols and added sterol esters affects cardiovascular risk factors in a normotensive population with elevated cholesterol. J Nutr, 138(4), pp.725-731.
Arya, S.S., Salve, A.R. and Chauhan, S., 2016. Peanuts as functional food: a review. Journal of food science and technology, 53(1), pp.31-41.
Buijsse B, et al., 2006. Cocoa intake, blood pressure, and cardiovascular mortality: the Zutphen Elderly Study. Arch Intern Med, 166(4), pp.411-417.
Davison, G., et al., 2012. The effect of acute pre-exercise dark chocolate consumption on plasma antioxidant status, oxidative stress and immunoendocrine responses to prolonged exercise. European journal of nutrition, 51(1), pp.69-79.
Golomb, B.A., et al., 2012. Association between more frequent chocolate consumption and lower body mass index. Archives of internal medicine, 172(6), pp.519-521.
Grassi D, et al., 2005. Short-term administration of dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons. Am J Clin Nutr, 81(3), pp.611-614.
Moore DR, et al., 2009. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr, 89, pp. 161-168.
Ohr, L.M., 2017. Ingredients for Active Lifestyles. FOOD TECHNOLOGY, 71(3), pp.55-59.