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6 Foods to Improve Your Fitness

We all know that eating a balanced diet is great for our overall health, but is it possible to increase your fitness levels with certain types of foods? In fact, by focusing on including certain nutrient-rich foods in your diet you can enhance your physical fitness levels and help your body to recuperate faster after workouts. 

Everyone from weekend joggers to full-on fitness fanatics can benefit from eating foods that provide them with an extra boost of vitamins, nutrients, and protein. To further support your overall health and fitness levels, you can also try the amazing supplements from Orphic Nutrition

A health supplement such as our Glucosamine Chondroitin capsules can act as your secret weapon in your fight to stay fit. Our Glucosamine Chondroitin supplements support the body in building connective tissue that helps us to rebuild our strength after exercise and supports joint health and tissue formation.* These supplements are great for people who want to build up their muscle mass or people who are concerned about the wear and tear exercise can place on their joints. (Please note that you should always seek the advice of a medical professional before taking any supplement). 

As well supporting your body with supplements, the foundation of any health regime should be a diet designed to help you reach your fitness goals.

So, what foods should you be including in your meal plans to maximize muscle growth and help your body hit its optimum fitness levels? Keep reading to find out 6 of the best foods you can eat to improve your fitness.

Eggs

Eggs contain a range of essential amino acids, vitamins, and nutrients. They are incredibly calorie-efficient and deliver a huge protein hit without the high fat content. Eggs can help you to feel fuller for longer, so including eggs in your diet can help you to avoid snacking between mealtimes. 

Incredibly versatile, you can add eggs to almost any meal or even just enjoy them on their own. For people who are concerned about their cholesterol levels, you can just eat the white of the egg. However, a study has shown that weightlifters who consumed whole eggs after working out had an increased level of muscle repair than those that just ate egg whites. (1) If you are worried about cholesterol, it’s best to check with your doctor to see if eating eggs is OK for you. 

Spinach

Lots of people associate spinach with Popeye and his bulging biceps. As it turns out, the much-loved cartoon character was really onto something! Spinach is a great way to stoke muscle growth since it is full of iron and nitrates. The nitrates contained in spinach have been shown to increase proteins in the body that store and release calcium, which is crucial for muscle growth. (2) If you want to get stronger, make like Popeye and start including spinach in your daily diet!

Watermelon

What is a juicy, delicious, thirst-quenching way to enhance exercise performance? If you guessed watermelon, you’re right! Watermelon juice contains a naturally occurring amino acid called l-citrulline. This amino acid can reduce the build of lactic acid in the blood which helps the body to  recover faster from vigorous exercise and avoid muscle fatigue, soreness, and cramps. (3) Watermelon juice is also a fantastic way to rehydrate your body after a workout as it has a high water content, is full of nutrients, and is a good source of   electrolytes. 

Nuts

Now, you might think that nuts are far too high in calories to be of any benefit to anyone looking to keep fit and slim. Not so fast! Nuts are nutrient-dense and have many surprisingly positive effects on our health and fitness levels. Nuts are high in fiber, are a great source of protein, and are chock full of vitamins and minerals. Snacking on nuts regularly can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and can lower cholesterol levels. Studies show that eating nuts on a regular basis will not lead to obesity and might even enhance weight loss! (4) 

Salmon

If you are searching for a superior food to support your health, then salmon is a super-food you’ll want to start sinking your teeth into! A serving of salmon can contain over 20 grams of protein per 100 grams, making it perfect for people who want to increase muscle mass. Salmon is also loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acids that support blood flow.

 

Turkey

Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving dinner! Lean turkey meat is a great food that can help you to increase your fitness level. Turkey has a high protein level, is low fat (without the skin), and contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which can help boost the muscle-building properties of your body. As an added bonus, turkey contains beta-alanine which acts to help muscles to recover after exercise and lessens the effects of fatigue. (6) 

 

Sources
1 https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/106/6/1401/4823156
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4525132/
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4997430/
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/