Good nutrition can enhance performance and aid recovery. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, will boost energy and power your chosen exercise workout.
A perfect way to start the day, or choose an energizing green smoothie after a workout – there is a healthy compound in green leafy vegetables which can help muscles work more efficiently.
For my favourite recipe, blend:
1 cup of mineral or coconut water
Juice of half a lemon
2 handfuls of Kale
4 pineapple rings
1 small apple
A few mint leaves
1 tbsp of milled flaxseed
Garnish with chia seeds and blueberries
For a creamier version, replace water with plant milk, or add an avocado or banana.
Nuts and seeds can stabilize blood-sugar levels and improve cholesterol, and they include nutrients such as fibre, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin B6. Many contain Omega 3 fats, selenium and zinc, and due to the protein, fibre and fats they can help you feel full longer, thus potentially promoting weight loss.
Protein bars are great as a pre or post workout snack. They are healthy and great for boosting energy levels with no added sugar or fat.
(Makes around 15 depending on size and preference)
I usually make my protein bars from what I have in the cupboard and this is the standard recipe I use which is easily adapted.
The photo above contains peanuts, raisins, cranberries and mixed seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower).
200g Mixed nuts (pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashews etc)
2 tbsp Mixed seeds (linseed, sunflower, pumpkin etc)
300g Dried fruit (dates, raisins, cranberries, prunes etc)
1 tbsp Tahini or peanut butter
1 tbsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp Cocoa
2tbspns Agave syrup
Desiccated coconut or seeds (sesame etc) to coat them in
Combine the nuts and seeds in a food processor and whiz until fine crumbs. Add the dried fruit until smooth.
Add the Tahini or Peanut butter, Cocoa powder, Cinnamon, Agave and whiz for a couple of minutes or until the mixture starts to form into a ball.
Divide into small portions and roll into balls or use a knife or spatula to form small bars.
Roll in coconut or seeds to cover if desired, then let them chill in the fridge until nice and solid.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. (Can also be frozen and removed from freezer 15 mins before eating).
Antioxidants and caffeine in green tea may have a role in helping the body burn more calories by speeding up the metabolism. There is also increasing evidence that both green and black tea are beneficial for cardiovascular disease prevention, and could help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Drinking 2 – 3 cups a day is said to be beneficial to health.