Meet the foods that supercharge your workout

Nutrition is just as important as physical exercise for those looking to gain muscle mass and improve performance. According to experts, what you eat before and after your workout can make all the difference in your results.

But what are the foods you should include in your diet to achieve your goals? Well, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body and should be consumed before your workout.

They help prevent fatigue and improve performance and muscle preservation. However, not all carbohydrates are equal: opt for complex ones that have slower absorption and maintain stable blood glucose levels.

Some examples are oats, sweet potatoes, cassava, and brown rice.

Proteins are the main components of muscles and should be consumed after your workout. They aid in recovery, repair, and muscle growth. Choose lean meats, which have less fat and more essential amino acids, those that the body does not produce.

More examples include eggs, fish, chicken, cottage cheese, and whey protein.

In addition to carbohydrates and proteins, there are other foods that can enhance your weightlifting workout, and one of them is beetroot.

This root is rich in nitrates, which convert into nitric oxide in the body, dilating blood vessels and improving blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. This promotes performance, endurance, and muscle recovery.

Beetroot also contains iron, folic acid, and antioxidants. You can consume beetroot raw, cooked, in juices, or in cakes. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that beetroot juice consumption increased exercise time to exhaustion in cyclists.

Another food that can boost your workout is dark chocolate. This type of chocolate has more cocoa than milk or white chocolate, meaning it contains more flavonoids, substances with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Dark chocolate also stimulates the release of endorphins, hormones that promote well-being and reduce stress. Additionally, it contains caffeine, a natural stimulant that enhances focus and alertness.

You can consume it in its pure form, in pieces, shavings, or in recipes like cakes, mousses, and shakes.

A third food you need to know about is kefir. This is a fermented product made from milk or water, containing a wide variety of beneficial microorganisms for health.

Kefir is rich in proteins, calcium, and probiotics, which are bacteria that improve gut flora, strengthen the immune system, aid in digestion, nutrient absorption, and infection prevention.

You can consume kefir with fruits, granola, or honey. A study published in the journal Nutrients showed that kefir consumption increased lean mass and reduced body fat in women who practice weightlifting.

Don't forget to include cinnamon in your diet as well: a spice with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, thermogenic, and hypoglycemic properties.

It can reduce muscle inflammation caused by intense exercise, combat free radicals that cause oxidative stress, boost metabolism, and regulate blood sugar levels.

Lastly, but certainly not least, we have quinoa. A grain originating from the Andes, it has been increasingly consumed worldwide for its nutritional properties.

It is rich in plant-based protein, containing all essential amino acids, as well as fiber, minerals, and vitamins. It's an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, providing gradual and long-lasting energy.

A study conducted in Brazil with endurance athletes showed that those who consumed quinoa before exercise had better physical performance and lower perceived effort than those who consumed white bread.

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