Finishing a brutal workout signals one of the greatest aspects of exercise: the protein shake. It’s a ritual that us gym-goers life and die by, and if we’re being completely honest, it’s sometimes the sole reason we work out. No? Just me?
While there is no denying the magic powers a post-workout protein shake delivers direct to your veins, there is a significant place for some post-workout fruit as well. Yes, we can have it all. Have a read below to discover some of the benefits of a fruit binge when it comes to chasing that eternal pump. Food for thought… and muscle.
Carbohydrates Dates, Pineapples, Grapes
Carbohydrates get a really bad wrap, but as your body’s first source of energy, you really shouldn’t be avoiding them, especially if you’re looking to put on some size. Without sufficient carbohydrate intake, you risk entering a catabolic state of muscle soreness, poor recovery, and limited progress. Whilst protein is the obvious go-to when body building, its role is to repair damaged muscle tissue, while carbohydrates are converted to glycogen, energy stored in the muscles, giving them essential extra size and strength.
If you’re training at least 2 times per week, then you should work towards eating carbs for at least half of your dietary intake to prevent the breakdown of muscles for energy, suggests The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Eating fruits high in potassium is a great way to top up on electrolytes without the accompanying processed sugars found in sports drinks. And why is potassium a hero when it comes to muscle building? Essentially, it’s an electrolyte that is responsible for the contraction of muscles, which is lost during sweating. Therefore replacing potassium quickly means you’re back on the squat rack sooner, cramp free.
Nitric Oxide Watermelon
Not only a great source of natural sugars, watermelon contains citrulline, which is an amino acid responsible for the production of nitric oxide. If this is sounding a lot more like a science experiment than muscle building agent, don’t worry, there is a simpler explanation. Nitric oxide is a notorious provider of blood flow to the muscles, increasing their size and delivering a solid load of recovery nutrients. To put it in perspective, nitric oxide is reportedly used as a more effective ‘muscle builder’ than Viagra when it comes to erectile dysfunction.