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Foods and Supplements to Match Your Exercise - Triad Series Part 3

by Marcela De Vivo

You know the importance of using your diet, exercise, and supplements to keep you healthy. Getting proper nutrition and enough physical exercise is critical if you want to keep your body fit. According to most doctors, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. 

However, if you’re one of the many people who do work out for more than 30 minutes a day and stick to a balanced diet, you still might not be getting the results you want. The way to overcome that is to make sure you are eating right, not only for your overall health, but for the type of exercise you do most. 

By eating the best foods and taking the right supplements to get the most out of your workout, you have your entire body working in harmony to bring about the most healthy you. 

Cardiovascular Exercise 

Running is one of the most effective ways to get your cardiovascular exercise. 

Cardiovascular exercise includes everything from running, cycling, swimming or playing basketball. Elliptical machines and other similar devices also count as cardio. 

Before your cardiovascular exercise, you want to eat plenty of high-fiber foods and lean protein sources. An excellent meal could be as simple as a turkey sandwich and a banana, or a mixed greens salad with chicken and a slice of whole wheat bread. 

After you’re done exercising, you want to focus on energy-rich foods like simple and complex carbohydrates, as well as protein. Chicken and pasta, or a lean serving of red meat and carbs works well. 

When it comes to supplements, you want to focus on protein supplements and amino acids after cardiovascular exercise. It will help repair your well-worked muscles, and make getting up out of bed the next morning a lot easier. 

Yoga 

Yoga is all about bringing calm to the body and mind, but it can also be an intense workout depending on the type of yoga you do. If you’re planning to do a more physical involving yoga session, such as Bikram Yoga, you need to tailor your diet and supplements around that. 

Before heading out for a yoga class, you want to eat foods that are fiber rich, ideally with a small amount of protein as well. For example, low-fat or Greek yogurt mixed with blueberries or raspberries could make an ideal meal before a yoga class. If yogurt isn’t really your thing, scrambled egg whites or granola with almond milk work as well. 

Once you’re done with yoga, you want to focus on eating something with a little more protein and healthy fats, like chicken salad or fish like salmon with mixed greens and avocado. You most likely don’t need to load up on carbohydrates after yoga, so don’t worry too much about that. 

As far as supplements go, protein can be beneficial, but what you really want is an energy boost that’s packed with vitamins and minerals. Any type of shake or healthy energy drink with B vitamins and potassium will be helpful. 

Strength Training 

Whether you’re trying to bulk up or just stay strong, strength training is an important part of a balanced workout routine. What you eat is especially important when it comes to strength training. 

Before a strength training session, you want to focus on lean protein and complex carbohydrates. A turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread or sliced chicken breast with half of a baked potato would be an ideal meal. Whatever you choose, you don’t want to eat too much and feel weighed down before a strength training session, so be careful with your portions. 

After your strength training is over, a meal made up of about four to six ounces of lean protein like chicken, turkey or tuna and whole grains like wild rice or quinoa and a few steamed vegetables is ideal. 

When it comes to supplements after strength training, whey protein is king, and has been for a long time. During an intense strength training session, you will strain your muscles and deplete resources they need to grow. That resource is protein, which will help repair and build those muscles, which is important, especially if you’re looking for lean muscle mass growth. 

The Importance of Hydration 

Staying hydrated during exercise is very important. 

Whatever your chosen exercise is, it’s important that you stay hydrated throughout. The old eight-by-eight rule has long been discarded as silly science, and if you exercise a lot, you’ll need more than eight glasses of water per day. 

As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to remember that if you’re feeling thirsty, you might already be dehydrated. While the amount you need during your workout can vary, six to eight ounces per 15 to 20 minutes is what most recommend, especially if your workout is particularly strenuous.

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