Health & Wellness Blog

    

Essential Foods for Optimal Muscle Recovery

Foods for Muscle RecoveryExercising is great but sometimes, heavy workouts can end up stressing your muscles. In order for your muscles to recover, you should get some rest and also proper nutrition. The right foods will do wonders for your muscles. They not only enhance muscle growth and repair but also facilitate a quick and optimal muscle recovery. Below is useful information to help you select a proper diet after exercising.

When you are engaging in heavy exercises, a lot of blood glucose and glycogen is used up. When this happens, you will feel fatigued. The fatigue is as a result of lost carbohydrates. The carbohydrates have been broken down to create glycogen and glucose used up during exercise. Since all the carbohydrates have been broken down, you must replenish them by taking up the right foods. There are many foods which are rich in carbohydrates but not all of them are ideal for muscle recovery.

A great recommendation of foods, which are rich in carbohydrates and perfect for muscle recovery are foods which are highly glycemic. High glycemic foods are rich in carbohydrates which are needed after exercise. It is recommended that, after taking part in heavy exercise, you should take high glycemic foods for carbohydrates. This is because high glycemic foods enter the bloodstream faster making the muscles restore the glycogen at a faster rate. Good examples of foods which are rich in carbohydrates needed for muscle recovery are baked potatoes, cereals, breads and bagels.

Protein is extremely essentail for optimal muscle recovery. Proteins are excellent due to their healing and body building properties. Proteins promote muscle growth after they have been broken down after heavy exercise. The right amount of protein to include in your diet after a workout should be a quarter of your consumption of carbohydrates. In simple terms, the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins consumed should be 4 to 1.

The most ideal source of protein for muscle recovery is milk. You can also get proteins from other dairy products like yoghurt and cottage cheese. Both have carbohydrates as well as proteins needed for muscle recovery. Other than dairy products, protein sources like tuna, soy and turkey are also ideal for muscle recovery.

Your body must remain properly hydrated after carrying out moderate to heavy exercise. Hydration is important since it allows your muscles to recover from the stress of conducting heavy exercise. Bear in mind that the body consumes lots of water during exercise and this water needs to be replaced.

Loss of water during exercise can lead to tiredness and weakness. This is why people end up fainting since water is lost and has not been replenished. The most common sign of dehydration is urine that is too dark. If you lose a kg of fluid, it needs to be replenished by a liter of clean water. Bear in mind that, for proper hydration to take place, it is recommended that water is consumed in its original form. However, you can take a few sports drinks, fruit and milk since they are also sources of water which will hydrate the body.

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5 Rules to Make You a Successful Runner

Successful RunnerCongratulations if you’re reading this because that means you’ve made it past the New Year’s resolution phase. Most people who put on their trainers and turned up their iPod on January 1st have long given up. Generally speaking however, running has never been more popular; it attracts people looking to lose a bit of weight or who just to improve their general fitness. But recently I’ve started to notice that people are going about their running regime in completely the wrong way. So without further ado let’s get cracking on five rules to make running a success for you.

Good Equipment

Running is just like any other activity, you need the correct equipment to do it safely; you wouldn’t go scuba diving without oxygen would you? The most important piece of equipment for any runner is undoubtedly a good pair of running shoes. Just running in standard sports shoes will put your feet and legs under too much strain which can lead to shin splints (learnt that the hard way) and other conditions.

Unfortunately a good pair of running shoes will set you back quite a lot of money but think of it as a long term investment. The more you run the more use you get out of them, if that’s not an incentive to carry on running I don’t know what is. Be sure to do your research before purchasing anything, use customer reviews and ask shop assistants to get a good idea of what will work for you.

Get Organised

It is so important to keep your running regime organised so you can maximise the positive effects of exercise. I find it helps to write up a schedule to keep track of when I’m meant to go running so I don’t make any excuses. I’d also recommend recording the distance you went, the time it took and any other pieces of information you think will be useful. That way you know what your targets are and you can chart your progress from a measly 500metres on day 1 to 10km a few months down the line.

If you can’t be bothered to spend five minutes drawing a chart on an old fashioned piece of paper then use your smartphone. There are loads of apps that automatically keep track of your progress without any hassle or effort.

Fuel Up

It’s incredibly important for people about to undertake any form of exercise to ensure that their body has fuel to burn. The say same is true of running, if you don’t eat a nutritious meal around 45 minutes before you start you’ll find you can’t push yourself further and faster because there is nothing left in the tank. Obviously you shouldn’t eat too near to running because this can result in you sitting on the side of the road/treadmill throwing up.

In terms of food types I’d suggest complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholegrain pasta and oats all count. They provide your body with a sustained level of energy throughout exercise; the recipes are numerous when you include rice and pasta but I’d avoid throwing in anything excessively fatty or sweet.

Run Alone

This might make me sound very antisocial but I believe it is an essential for people to run alone in order to get the most out of it. There a few reasons for this; firstly it takes awawy the temptation to talk whilst running which obviously screws up your breathing. Secondly you may end being forced to rely on someone else to motivate you to run or it may go the other way and you may find your running partner is always late/making excuses. Lastly, it can make you push yourself too hard (that is actually a thing) or not push yourself hard enough because your partner has to stop every 5 minutes because they’re so unfit. At the end of the day it’s your decision but make sure you’re aware of the potential problems running with someone can cause.

Get a Soundtrack

Now for a slightly light hearted tip; I’ve found music gives me that little bit of encouragement to push myself further than I otherwise would. So before embarking on your Chariots of Fireesque run load up your iPod with power songs to push you harder.

You can’t go wrong with the classic Eye of the Tiger but don’t be embarrassed to listen to rubbish songs. As long as it has a good beat it doesn’t matter, plus who can hear it anyway?

Disclaimer: I’m not a qualified medical or sports professional in anyway; this article is entirely based on my opinion and experience. If you have any concerns please seek advice from your doctor.

About the Author Josh writes for XXPress PCR an innovative biotechnology firm based in the UK. XXPress specialises in pcr machines and have pioneered pcr technology.

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