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The Best Fitness Foods

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Wait!!! Stop!!! Don’t let your hard work in the gym go to waste.  The food you eat doesn’t just give you energy – it fuels your muscles, helps you burn fat, and even boosts your cardiovascular health.  Make sure you’re eating these fitness foods to get the best our of your workout and health.

There are lots of great fitness foods available, for example spinach.  I love spinach, in fact I have eaten spinach everyday for over 2 years.  Spinach is muscle fuel. But not because it instantly turns you lean and sexy. Researchers from Rutgers University found that a compound in the leafy green increases protein synthesis by 120 percent, helping your muscle tissue to repair itself faster after you work out.  The problem, however, is that you’d have to eat Popeye-sized quantities to experiences dramatic results (we’re talking almost 2 pounds of the iron-packed veggies a day).  The good news is that spinach isn’t the only food that can help you to look and feel better than ever–even when you’re not exercising.

The right fitness foods help burn fat, build muscle, and even boost your cardiovascular health.  Ready to eat your way to better results?  These 8 great foods and drinks are guaranteed to make any type of exercise you do more effective—long after you’ve broken a sweat.

Pineapple and Papaya

Good for: Muscle recovery?

Both of these tropical fruits are loaded with bromelain and papain, enzymes that not only help break down proteins for digestion but also have anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.  Papaya’s have also been linked to providing protective benefits against cancer, heart disease, and other diseases associated with free-radical damage.

Salmon

Good for: Cardiovascular fitness

 I was not a big fan of salmon until recently.  Salmon is one of the few fish/meats that I eat on a regular basis.  Here is one of the reasons why, Australian researchers found that cyclists who took fish oil for 8 weeks had lower heart rates and consumed less oxygen during intense bicycling than a control group did.  The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption-so either take fish oil pills each day, or try to eat fish rich in fatty acids multiple times a week to see similar results.

PB&J or Pasta With Meat Sauce

Good for: Muscle building and repair?

 The perfect post-workout recovery food has about 400 calories, with 20 to 30 grams of protein (to build new muscle) and 50 to 65 grams of carbohydrates (to repair old muscle).  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or a small bowl of pasta
with meat sauce fits that formula.  I like to use whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter or chocolate PB2 and Polaner’s preserve jelly for my sandwich.  Whole wheat noodles for the pasta taste great as well.

Pork Tenderloin

Good for: Waist-trimming

Lean meats are a great low-calorie source of protein, and scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that eating more protein may reduce the fat around your midsection.  People who ate 20 more grams of protein
every day than the group average had 6 percent lower waist-to-hip ratios.  Pork Tenderloin is a favorite of mine when my wife and I dine out.  It’s a lean meat and with the right kind of sides can provide you with a very healthy meal.

8 Ounces of Chocolate Milk

Good for: Hydration

The best sports drink may come from a cow.  British researchers found that milk does a better job than water or sports drinks at re-hydrating the body after exercise.  Why?  To begin with, milk has more electrolytes and potassium.  The
addition of chocolate gives milk the perfect balance of carbs, protein, and fat for speedy muscle recovery.  I have tried this several times when I am out of my 90X Results and Recovery formula but I would not recommend it for every workout.

Coffee

Good for: Pain relief

 Now, I don’t drink coffee, but I know that many of you couldn’t make it a day without! LOL!  The University of Georgia scientists revealed that taking a caffeine supplement (equal to two cups of coffee) after exercise reduces muscle soreness more than pain relievers can.  Caffeine blocks a chemical that activates pain receptors.  Remember this is not coffee that is loaded with cream and sugar, we are talking BLACK coffee.

Green Tea

Good for: Muscle recovery

Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of green tea every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise.  So drinking a few cups every day may help your muscles recover faster after an intense workout.  I try to drink 1 cup of green tea a day, usually at night while I’m relaxing.

Cold Water

Good for: Endurance

Drinking cold water before and during exercise can help improve your endurance.  In a British study, cyclists who drank about 30 ounces of a chilled drink in the half hour before riding in a hot, humid environment-and smaller amounts as they rode-were able to bike 23 percent longer than riders who downed lukewarm liquids.  Drinking cold water may be the most direct way to reduce core body temperature, so it takes you longer to heat up and slow down.  It’s best to try and drink 64 oz. of water everyday, remember what Tony says, “Drink your water people”.

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