Hard to believe it but yet another holiday weekend is upon us! Seems like it was just yesterday when we were talking about Memorial Day BBQ and now BAM, here we are facing another string of days that could spell devastation to all of our hard work!
Don't let all of those hours you have spent toiling away in the gym go to waste! By now you know that making some healthier choices at the BBQ, picnic or party can make a difference, but we would like to add some suggestions (some that you can incorporate into this weekend) into your daily routines to ENHANCE your results. Chow down on these 8 power foods and you'll see better results in no time.
1. Pineapple and Papaya
Good for: Muscle recovery
Both of these tropical fruits are loaded with bromelain and papain, enzymes that not only help break down proteins for digestion but also have anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.
Holiday Hint: Not only does it make a pretty fruit plate, throw these two into a salsa which is yummy over grilled fish or chicken, or in a tasty alternative to traditional coleslaw that your guest will rave about!
Good for: Cardiovascular fitness
Australian researchers found that cyclists who took fish oil for 8 weeks had lower heart rates and consumed less oxygen during intense bicycling than a control group did. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption-so either take fish oil pills each day or try to eat fish rich in fatty acids multiple times a week to see similar results.
Holiday Hint: Salmon is fab on the grill! Skewer it up with veggies on kabobs or grill it all by itself. Grilled Salmon Recipe
3. PB&J or Pasta With Meat Sauce
Good for: Muscle building and repair
The perfect post-weight training repast has about 400 calories, with 20 to 30 grams of protein (to build new muscle) and 50 to 65 grams of carbohydrates (to repair old muscle). Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or a small bowl of pasta with meat sauce fit that formula.
4. Pork Tenderloin
Good for: Waist-trimming
Lean meats are a great low-calorie source of protein, and scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that eating more protein may reduce the fat around your midsection. People who ate 20 more grams of protein every day than the group average had 6 percent lower waist-to-hip ratios.
Holiday Hint: Low in fat, tenderloins may tend to dry out when grilled. Here are some tips to make juicy, tender, flavorful pork tenderloin every time!
5. 8 Ounces of Chocolate Milk
Good for: Hydration
The best sports drink may come from a cow. British researchers found that milk does a better job than water or sports drinks at rehydrating the body after exercise. Why? To begin with, milk has more electrolytes and potassium. The addition of chocolate gives milk the perfect balance of carbs, protein, and fat for speedy muscle recovery.
Good for: Pain relief
University of Georgia scientists revealed that taking a caffeine supplement (equal to two cups of coffee) after exercise reduces muscle soreness more than pain relievers can. Caffeine blocks a chemical that activates pain receptors.
7. Green Tea
Good for: Muscle recovery
Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of green tea every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. So drinking a few cups every day may help your muscles recover faster after an intense workout.
Holiday Hint: Throw some fresh-brewed green tea over ice for a refreshing beverage for your BBQ or anytime!
8. Cold Water
Good for: Endurance
Drinking cold water before and during exercise can help improve your endurance. In a British study, cyclists who drank about 30 ounces of a chilled drink in the half-hour before riding in a hot, humid environment-and smaller amounts as they rode-were able to bike 23 percent longer than riders who downed lukewarm liquids. Drinking cold water may be the most direct way to reduce core body temperature, so it takes you longer to heat up and slow down.
At the Women's Club, we always want to bring you not only news and advice that we think you can use, but also topics that you want to read. Let us know what other topics that we can bring you in the future by leaving us a comment!
*Portions reprinted from Eat This, Not That.