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5 vitamins to eat your way to a better workout
We all know how important eating well is to maintaining tip-top health and to maximise our sweat sessions. No matter what regime you follow, whether your aim is to build muscle and strength, increase your energy, tone your body or recover from training faster, essential vitamins found in everyday foods can give your next workout that edge to get you over the line.
The B group vitamins are essential for overall health. B1 metabolises protein and carries oxygen to our muscle cells, B2 digests energy, glucose and protein and oxidises fatty acids, B3 energises, B6 metabolises protein and carbohydrates, B7 produces amino acids that stimulate protein and B12 maintains nerve tissues, digests fats and carbohydrates, energises and regenerates cells. The Bs are great multi-taskers that offer plenty of goodness to get on your fork!
- in amino acid form 30 min before an intense weights, running or endurance session
- pre- or post-workout in liquid form
- early morning to energise your immune system
- for a pick-me-up during the day to combat fatigue or weakness
Find it in: meat, poultry, dairy, bread, legumes, brown rice, nuts, soybeans, peas, mushrooms, fish, leafy greens, protein powder
Antioxidant vitamin C supports tissue growth, oxygen and nutrients supplied to our muscles, and maintains healthy skin and bones. Vitamin C is a great marker of overall health, reducing inflammation, protecting our cardiovascular and immune function, on top of helping out our iron absorption levels, which stop us from feeling fatigued from exercise.
- pre or post workout
- when feeling lethargic
- to boost your immunity against sickness
Find it in: five to nine servings of fruit and veg: dark leafy greens, cauliflower, squash, tomatoes, kiwi, berries, citrus fruits, cabbage, pepper, potatoes
Vitamin D helps process food, working hand in hand with Vitamin A and calcium absorption. Vitamin D is regulates our nerve, immune and muscle systems, including stopping our muscles from cramping.
- for strength training;
- consume it with dietary fat as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin
Find it in: vitamin D synthesised by sunlight, as well as milk, yoghurt, fish, egg yolk, cereal
However: up your vitamin D with more time spent outdoors and less at your desk
Antioxidant vitamin E looks after cells’ growth, function and recovery, keeps your immunity thriving and your skin and eyes healthy.
- with dietary fat, as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin
- avoiding iron consumption which is often maximised on empty stomachs
- if on a low-fat diet
Find it in: green leafy vegetables, carrots, avocados, nuts, seeds, fortified cereals, eggs, vegetable oils
However: excessive supplement use (exceeding 1,000 mg) can cause nausea and fatigue and pregnancy defects
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are fantastic for your heart and muscle protein breakdown. They can help lower blood pressure and prevent some forms of arthritis. The body breaks down forms of Omega-3 from both fish oils and plant sources.
- to start the day
Find it in: coldwater fish, flaxseed and canola oils, soybeans, tofu, walnuts, fish oil capsules containing DHA and EPA
However: avoid combined with anti-inflammatories post workout which increase risk of bleeding, avoid if pregnant
By fuelling our bodies with the right foods, resting and repairing optimally, we are not only going to be happy with our reflections, but we give ourselves the best chance at maintaining a positive outlook on life. We love staying informed and accountable for everyone’s health and wellbeing. And if you’re passionate about helping others rest and repair, why not discover our fitness diploma or massage therapy courses on offer? Call us today on 1300 002 232!