Weight Loss, Diets and Nutrition

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Workout Foods and Nutrition

These days with high gas prices and just an overall higher cost of living, eating healthy can cost a well-defined arm and a leg for the average athlete. The truth of the matter is that you don’t always need these well-marketed supplements or sport designed bars, you just need to get back to the basics, FOOD.

Whenever I think of high energy with low cost, I immediately think pasta. Whole-wheat pasta with a basic tomato sauce tastes great, costs almost nothing and offers plenty of glycogen filling carbohydrates with fiber and protein.

Peanut butter and jelly on whole-wheat bread is another great meal. The loaf of bread with the jars of peanut butter and jelly will last you a week, not to mention giving you an ample supply of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. These sandwiches are calorie dense with a perfect nutrient ratio for a post workout meal.

An additional option for a low cost nutrient dense meal would be a crock-pot full of chili. Ground meat, (beef, turkey) beans, cheese, and tomatoes with spices will give you plenty of protein and carbohydrates with tons of nutrients coming from the beans and tomatoes. This will last your whole family for days.

These are just a few ideas for low cost healthy meals. They can all feed a family and are simple to make. Be creative and always remember that most of the stuff that you find in the bottle at GNC is food derived. Get your nutrients direct from the source.

Empty Calorie Cereal

The ideal cereal will have a high amount of complex carbohydrates. Everybody wants to eat cleaner and eliminate the empty calories from their diet, but what is the best way to revamp your eating regimen? Lets start with the first meal of the day, breakfast.

At this point we should all know how important breakfast is, but many fill their cereal bowls morning after morning with high sugar low to no nutritional value cereals. Just by reading the nutrition labels you can find a cereal choice which gives you countless health benefits, a greater feeling of fullness, and all with an excellent taste.

There are many things to look for when choosing a healthy cereal. One of the first things I look for is the amount of protein. If you compare protein content you will notice that the cereals made from whole grains or nuts usually have 3-4 times the amount of protein then a cereal that is just colored sugar.

The second number I look for is the carbohydrate ratio. The ideal cereal will have a high amount of complex carbohydrates with a small quantity of those calories coming from the simple sugars labeled as sugar on the box. Look for the sugar number being less then half the number of the total carbohydrate number.

The last couple of things I look for in a cereal are the fiber and vitamin content. More then likely though when you have a decent amount of protein with predominately complex carbohydrates, the fiber and vitamin content will also usually be up to par.

Next time you walk down the cereal isle, look at the nutrition labels, not the colored marshmallows.

Benefits of a Banana

Bananas are packed with many health-promoting nutrients, and yet also have an appealing taste.

Bananas were most likely your first fruit as a kid. With their soft texture and sweet taste what kid would not have a smile on their face while eating them? Even today as an adult, bananas are enjoyed as a topping in cereals or as an addition to a protein shake. Now bananas are famous for their potassium content, but what other benefits do we get after we peel off the yellow?

Bananas have a lot to offer from a nutritional standpoint. They are a great source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals. Put all of these nutritional components together and you will have a lower risk of cancer, a faster workout recovery, reduced cholesterol levels, and a healthy GI tract with soft stools.

Bananas are especially great for a post workout snack. It has the components to replenish glycogen stores quickly with its simple carbohydrate content and is also able to re-balance electrolytes lost through sweat. This is why you see a plentiful supply of bananas at almost any competition event.

Bananas are the most popular fruit in America for good reason. They are packed with many health-promoting nutrients, and yet also have an appealing taste. Take advantage of this versatile fruit and experiment with different ways of incorporating them into your diet. Eating them raw is still my favorite though.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is nothing new to any of you that grew up in America, but its health benefits might however stun you. It’s a great food for athletes and vegetarians because this inexpensive energy source is full of protein, healthy monounsaturated fat, and antioxidants. The list of benefits goes on, but it is important to note that it also tastes great.

Peanut butter is a close to perfect post workout meal. It has a good amount of quality protein needed for muscle repair, a small amount of carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores, and is packed full of healthy fats to keep hormone levels in check.

Some other great qualities of peanut butter are its high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants, which help strengthen the immune system. It also contains bioflavonoids, which has been shown to help prevent arterial plaque from forming.

Another important aspect of peanut butter is that it is low on the glycemic index. This quality gives your body a steady insulin release, which in turn gives you a stable energy flow without any ups and downs. And to aid your healthy digestive tract peanut butter has a decent amount of fiber.

Now we know how nutritious peanut butter is, but the most important quality of any food in my opinion is the taste. Peanut butter passes with flying colors. The kids love it as sandwiches and the adults love it on waffles and fruits. Be creative on how you eat your peanut butter.

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