Saturday, May 28, 2011

Post-Workout Nutrition: Cherries and recovery

Adequate post workout nutrition is essential to the recovery of our muscles after enduring intense stress during exercise. During exercise your muscles take in a source of energy to generate momentum. With that said think of our muscles acting as electric motors. These motors act biochemically by using a chemical energy source in the body called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). During the process of "burning" ATP for energy your muscles need three things:
  • Oxygen, because chemical reactions require ATP and oxygen is consumed to produce the ATP
  • Elimination of metabolic wastes (carbon dioxide, lactic acid) that are produced in these reactions
  • Elimination of heat that is a by product of working muscle
Now you see the reasoning behind adequate replenishment of energy and recovery due to the bodies inflammatory response post-exercise. There are any essential foods with vital nutrients to aid in the recovery process but one in particular is cherries and cherry juice. These super fruits aid in muscle recovery and reduction of their damage. What makes them so powerful? Their load of antioxidants they are made of especially one in particular, anthocyanins. Typically muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress is seen in long distance and marathon runners. Researches have studied these effects on marathon runners. One study took a group of marathon runners supplied them with adequate concentrations of cherry juice and measured muscle strength and oxidative stress levels. Markers of muscle damage showed that the group given cherry juice had rapid recovery of knee extension strength compared to that of a placebo group. As far as oxidative stresses the cherry juice group had an increased total antioxidant capacity which in turn decrease these stresses.
So next time you work out try drinking some cherry juice, adding some cherries in your protein shake, or even top off your Greek yogurt with a few and take advantage of the beneficial properties cherries have.

Have a happy healthy day!

Krystal Goodman

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Foundation of a Healthy Diet :CLEAN EATING

Eating healthy has been a way of life for me from a young age until now. It wasn't until I came across the idea of "clean eating" that I really noticed a difference in my energy levels and overall health. To begin understanding the concept I purchased the book The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno. I would tell anyone and everyone to buy this book to get them in the right direction of a true nutrition program. The emphasis Tosca puts on clean eating is to eat foods in their most natural form. I know you all have heard the saying you put gas in a car to make it go so therefore you would put food in your body to have adequate energy. Since this is the case, why not feed your body with nothing but, the cleanest foods?

Eating clean involves eating foods in the most natural state. Unnatural substances that are added to foods are what you would find in boxed foods. These substances include; preservatives, food colorings, added chemicals for baking and adding tastes. Next time you are at the grocery store look on the back of a box of pop tarts, little debbies, or even crackers. You will see a long list of ingredients, rule of thumb is if you cant pronounce them they usually aren't good for you. You would be very surprised at what types of foods have these hidden "bad" guys. Most often you will see these chemicals and preservatives in sauces, baked goods, candy, juices, and even some cereals and crackers. The good thing about the nutrition world is its getting more and more advanced so for those of you that can't live without some of these items you can find them in a more natural state at local earth fares, fresh markets, and whole food stores.

I encourage everyone to start a new way of eating by choosing to eat clean! You won't be disappointed.

Have a Happy Healthy Day,
Krystal A. Goodman