Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Best Power Foods for Working Out

By Laura Leiva - Tue, Mar 8, 2011 8:53 AM PST

Every day, you make food choices. Turkey bacon or regular? Whole grain toast or bagel? Milk or juice? The food choices we make each day have an effect on moods, energy levels or something as simple as satisfying a craving. For those who exercise, choosing the right foods is essential in boosting the metabolism and energy to get an efficient workout. Making beneficial food choices also helps us get the nutrition we need to make sure our bodies cooperate before, during and after exercise. If you are working out, there are plenty of foods you can eat to make sure you drop weight, stay satisfied and experience higher levels of energy:
Avocados: Not only are they delicious, but they are healthy for you. Avocados contain healthy fats that improve heart health and strengthen joints and muscles. For those who do strength training and running, avocados are a daily essential. Add a few slices of the fruit to salads and sandwiches to boost healthy fat intake.
Bananas: Ever get a terrible leg or side cramp in the middle of working out? A lack sodium is one of the main causes for cramping, but studies show that adding potassium to the diet can help reduce cramping occurrences. The tasty fruit also contains carbohydrates, perfect for those who want to maintain energy during a workout. Another food that helps with energy boosting and potassium levels? Carrots. The vegetable is also helpful in controlling blood pressure levels. Snack on a banana or carrots prior to working out or add them to your favorite foods for a healthy meal.
Cottage Cheese: This diet staple does more than help you lose weight. Cottage cheese is high in protein, which is essential in repairing muscle after a hard workout. It's also low in fat, which makes it a perfect choice for a mid-afternoon snack paired with fruit or as a side dish to a healthy breakfast or dinner. Pair cottage cheese with banana for a satisfying, but healthy, pre or post-workout snack.
Eggs: Eggs have gotten a bad rap for raising cholesterol levels, but when eaten in moderation they are actually good for you. Whole eggs contain essential minerals, like iron, that helps provide oxygen to the muscles for an effective workout. Eggs also feature lecithin, which maintains healthy brain functioning. Having one egg a day keeps you within the recommended limit of 300 milligrams of cholesterol, and there is plenty you can do with it. They can be hard-boiled for a mid-morning snack or added to a salad or you can scramble one up to pair with a whole-grain English muffin and fruit for a satisfying breakfast.
Yogurt: If you're watching your weight, yogurt is an amazing substitute when you're craving something sweet. The power food is also great for your health. It contains probiotics, which are necessary to maintain healthy bacteria levels in your stomach and intestines. The texture also makes it easy to digest, so you can easily have a snack before a workout. Yogurt contains proteins and carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice before or after working out.
Oranges: No matter what time of year it is, there are always oranges available at the grocery store. Oranges are also a great source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and helps muscle repair. Research has also discovered that vitamin C produces collagen, which is essential in skin and bones. Collagen keeps bones strong and prevents pain in the knees - which is perfect for those who love to run.
Each of these foods is not only healthy, but they ensure you get the most out of your workout. By sticking to a healthy diet, you can boost energy and metabolism, as well as help your body repair itself after exercising.

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