Category Archives: Pre- Post-Workout
“EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!”
We have all heard or said the phrase a million times in our lives.
We all know that produce is good for us, but many people don’t always know “WHY”
I do a lot of research when I am highlighting my favorite foods, and come across many articles that give the information so much better than I could write it. The following is a portion of one such article written by Trevor Thieme C.S.C.S. A link to Full article below.
… Odds are you, [like many people, have ignored advice to “eat your veggies” at some point or] for even your entire life. Your mom nagged you about eating your broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Your doctor advises you to “eat the rainbow.” And you likely have at least one vegan friend who wants to convert you — or at the very least replace some of the meat in your largely carnivorous diet with plants. Even Michelle Obama has got in on the act, imploring you and every other American to eat more fruits and veggies. And like Murphy (and most other Americans), odds are you don’t listen: Only 1 in 10 people in the United States eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, according to a report from the CDC.
That’s a problem. “If you’re not eating at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day, you’re not building ‘foundational health,’ which is key for preventing disease and supporting athletic performance,” says Susan Kleiner, PhD, R.D., author of The Powerfood Nutrition Plan. If she had her way, you’d eat eight servings.
While nutritionists have long known about the athletic advantages of increasing protein intake, they’re only just beginning to comprehend the fitness benefits of eating more phytonutrients — bioactive (i.e., body-boosting) compounds found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and other “phyto” (plant) foods. …
“One of the most exciting benefits of phytonutrients is their strong antioxidant potential, disarming free radicals that wreak havoc in the body,” says Kleiner. “But it’s also bigger than that—scientists are learning that some phytonutrients seem go deep into the genetic matrix, turning on and off genes that protect us from disease development.”
That potential of phytonutrients to bolster the immune system is hugely important for athletes, who often run themselves down through overtraining. “One of the biggest things that holds athletes back is getting sick, and research shows that some phytonutrients can act as prebiotics, stimulating the growth of bacteria in your gut, thus helping to boost immunity,” says Kleiner.
Polyphenols — found in abundance in green tea — are among them, according to Japanese researchers. …
But perhaps the greatest benefit of phytonutrients — especially as far as athletes are concerned — is their ability to fight exercise-induced inflammation. “The nature of training is to tear the body down, and the body is extraordinary in its ability to repair and rebuild its tissues to become stronger,” says Kleiner. “But part of that process involves an inflammatory response — inflammatory cells rush to the damaged tissue, heat it up, and begin repairing it.”
If you’ve ever felt sore a couple of days after a tough workout (a phenomenon known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS), you’ve felt the inflammatory process at work. A little inflammation is a good thing — it helps your muscles adapt to the demands of training (and you to become more powerful). “But if you don’t have enough anti-inflammatory factors in your body, the inflammation process can proceed unchecked, which can delay recovery,” says Kleiner.
Fortunately, you don’t have to eat every single plant to reap the benefits; you just have to eat a variety of them, according to Kleiner. “And by variety, I mean not only among food groups, but also within food groups,” she says. In other words, while you might love bananas, Amaranth, and Swiss chard, don’t just eat bananas, Amaranth, and Swiss chard. Becoming stuck in a dietary routine is just as detrimental as getting stuck in training rut.
Click for suggestions on what to eat to stay out of a food rut
In short, your mom, doctor, and vegan friend were right — you should eat a greater number and variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. “And whenever possible, skip pills for whole foods,” says Kleiner. “There’s a lot we have yet to discover about phytonutrients, but one thing we do know is that they’re more potent when they work synergistically with other nutrients in foods than when they’re taken [and working] alone.”
I will see you on the other side.
Food timing has been a hot topic for as long as I can remember. Most people think of “game day” when they consider food timing, which is important, but timing your food on a daily basis can actually help your body prepare for your game day. I actually found very little research available for basic food needs for teens/teen athletes. So here’s an average from a couple different sources as to what kids should be getting in on a daily basis.
So here’s my opinion; eating clean on a regular basis is the most important way to train your body to use the nutrients you give it. Your body will learn to anticipate when you are going to feed it and your hunger mechanism will begin to function properly.
Unfortunately, we now have food available all the time and everywhere. Food is packaged to last outside of a fridge, in our gym bags and backpacks. This has been a lifesaver for many a busy person, but we have come to rely on these products as food replacements so we don’t have to cook or because we are convinced we don’t have time to prepare food. These products are loaded with preservatives (i.e.: sugar, sodium, and other unpronounceable ingredients) and many of the ingredients have been processed down so much we don’t actually get any nutritional value, causing us to reach for more food. We have, as a society, stopped listening to our internal “hunger clock.” The problem with this is our body only begins digesting when we stop chewing food. Our digestive system does not multitask, when the stomach is working the intestines are not, and it takes anywhere from 2-4 hours to digest a meal completely (everyone is different). So, if you start eating before the previous meal is done digesting, your body stops focusing on the intestines and moves back to the stomach, leaving the undigested food rotting on its own in your gut😖 that’s a pleasant picture isn’t it?!
With this in mind, make sure that your regular snacks/meals are no closer together than about 2 hours. If you feel hungry before that time try drinking water. When your body is dehydrated, it will do whatever it takes to get you to consume something with fluids to rehydrate.
Bottom line, get good food in every day! Train your body to crave good nutrient rich foods that will help with performance on and off the field.
As for game day, this includes days when you will be practicing or training for 2+ hours, you can load your body with energy that will give you your best performance and keep you from getting hangry after the game or practice.
4-5 hours before the event: heavy meal
- Get in whole grains, vegetables, a small amount of protein and good fats
- Ex: whole grain pasta with roasted squash and sweet potato and 4 ounces of grilled chicken
2-4 hours before event: light meal
- Small amount of whole grain carbs and raw veggies, protein and fruit
- Ex: PBJ or turkey sandwich or a leafy green salad with kidney beans and tons of veggies with olive oil and salt and pepper
1/2 – 1 hour before event: light snack
- Green and cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower) and ranch dip ( DO NOT use low fat, there’s a ton of chemicals and sugar😡)
Post Event (within two hours): Recovery
- Plant based proteins, these are easier to digest and help the muscles recover faster. Fruit to replace natural sugar stores and if the event lasted 2+ hours a sports drink or coconut water to replenish electrolytes.
It should go without saying that you should be getting water in with all of these meals. A good rule of thumb is to get half your body weight in ounces everyday, just for basic life functions. Once you start adding in additional exercise you want to increase you water intake. I usually do about 12 ounces per hour of intense exercise. Just remember to listen to your body and drink water when you are thirsty. And to keep from feeling like you are drowning and peeing every five minutes😰 drink a couple sips of water every 10 minutes or so.
Remember to always check with your primary care doctor before making and major changes to your eating lifestyle!
Till next time!!
Go Big or Go Home!! Work your butt off, sweat out the frustrations of the day (and any crap food you ate too! 😉 ) Then What?????
Many people don’t know what to do post-workout, or know what to do but think it irrelevant to the overall picture of health.
We have all been told that stretching is key to longevity, but so many people avoid it like the plague post-workout. Some sighting “I don’t have time” or “it doesn’t do much for me anyway.”
Stretching allows the body to slowly cool down after a good workout. It moves body fluids and begins the healing process; making recovery time more efficient and reducing soreness. The nice thing about stretching is it goes with EVERY workout no matter what your “thing” is.
You can find some basic stretches on my YouTube channel.
Another thing that is often forgotten or blatantly ignored is post-workout nutrition. The first thing you put in your body after a workout is what your body uses to heal itself. Now, depending on your health and fitness goals are you putting the right things in your body once you have taken the time and effort of exercising?
One of my favorite things to get in is a shake or smoothie. I am a mom and I spend 90% of my day running around like the rest of the world, but a good shake can be the difference between working with my kids or joining in the tantrums at the end of the day! I get a quick amount of nutrient dense foods in that I don’t have time to sit there and eat. The blender does the “chewing” for me!
My go-to shake is Vegan Chocolate Shakeology from Beachbody. Just a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Team Beachbody. Anything purchased through this link I do earn a commission on. I love the flavor, it curbs my sugar cravings and I’m full for a good 2-3 hours so I don’t get Hangry! This shake is also great because it is a powder mix so it truly is a lifesaver when I have seconds to whip something up. Scoop it into a shaker cup with 12 ounces of water and 12 ounces of almond milk, shake (as I run out the door!) and I’m good to go!
When I do have a little more time, or actually plan ahead, I also like to whip up the following recovery shake. I have adapted this recipe from Power Vegan by Rea Frey. I stick as close to this recipe as I can because I love all of the nutrition that I get, but I also use what I have in my home, I don’t stress about getting all of the ingredients exactly right. Also adapt the quantities to your flavor profile. I like a more tart/sour taste so I use more citrus. So, feel free to play with this recipe at will. The benefits of this recipe is the vegan ingredients. You get a healthy dose of protein and nutrients that are essential to great recovery and in a vegan form which is easier for your body to digest and absorb.
- Juice of a small organic lemon
- Juice of half an organic lime
- 4 medjool dates, pitted*
- 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey (Agave if vegan)
- 1 Tbsp vegan protein powder, Hemp and Rice are the smoothest
- 1 Tbsp dulse flakes**
- 1 Tsp Flax oil
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve! You can add filtered water to thin the consistency and a handful of ice if your smoothie must be cold.
*If you pit and soak the dates in warm filtered water for about 10 minutes they will soften and blend more smoothly
**Dulse flakes are a red alge full of protein and nutrients, you can find it at a local health food store or order it online. I also use nori strips if I have them.