By feeding your body the right nutrients, you can ensure it’s getting the raw materials it needs to help you power through your workout and build and repair muscle afterward. Jumpstart your exercise program with these 10 essential food and drinks.
When it comes to priming your muscles for a workout, carbs are your best friend. They provide glucose, the fuel your muscles run on. But, like different grades of gasoline, not all carbohydrates are created equally. Slowly-digested, complex carbs from whole grains deliver a sustained blood sugar release that energizes you throughout your workout. And oatmeal is a winning choice. It’s rich in beta-glucan, a fiber that slows digestion and keeps blood sugar on an even keel. For maximum results, choose whole oats. They’re digested more slowly than quick cooking or instant oatmeal.
If you’re a java junkie we have happy news for you. Downing 12 ounces of coffee an hour before you hit the gym or track can help you workout longer and boost your endurance. It can also ease exercise-related aches and pains. A 2009 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study found that men who received a jolt of caffeine an hour before bicycling intensely reported less muscle pain during their workout than a similar group of cyclists who went caffeine free. More