You think that you will spend another hour in the gym today, but after 45 minutes, you are completely drained of energy. To spend another hour of rigorous training in the gym, you need to have that kind of stamina and the most important element for that is your diet. What you eat before your workouts is your fuel. However, you need to fuel your body with the right kind of foods. Eating the wrong sort of foods can make you sluggish and reduce your efficiency during workouts. Some of these foods could even have an adverse impact on your workout efforts. But just how it is important for you to know what has to be eaten before workouts, it is equally important to know when you need to eat. Eating the right food at the wrong time will not benefit you either. Eat two hours before your workout; this will help your body store energy and it will allow you to push your muscles to its limits. The main source of energy is carbohydrates. Eating digestible carbs before workouts help you stay energized during exercise and it keeps hunger pangs at bay as well.
Here’s a list of the 7 best foods you must eat before workouts.
Raw beetroots or beetroot juice can be an effective energy booster for you. One glass of beetroot juice can trigger nitric oxides in your body to regular blood flow and check the oxygen levels in the blood as well. Research shows that people who drink a glass of beetroot juice before workouts display 15% increased stamina than usual.
Sugar and starch in bananas are just what you need to fuel your body for rigorous workouts. High carbohydrate content of bananas breaks down in your body into simple sugars quickly and is absorbed by the cells in the form of energy. A medium-sized banana 45 minutes before your workouts is good enough to keep you going for a longer period of time than usual.
If you are looking for a fruit which serves both purposes; fuelling your workout and speeding up the recovery process, look no further than pomegranates. This fruit is also a good source of carbs which keeps your body energetic during workouts. The antioxidants in it, on the other hand, reduce soreness in the muscles and treats inflammation post workouts.
4. Nuts and nut butters
A rich source of proteins and healthy fats, nuts and nut butters help you keep your energy levels high during workouts. They reduce the likelihood of recurring hunger pangs as well. These are a good source of carbohydrates as well. Low glycemic index in nuts and nut butters help you achieve stable energy levels. Proteins in these speed up the muscle recovery process as well. A handful of nuts or a peanut butter toast can be quite helpful for boosting your stamina.
One cup of yogurt or dahi can be quite beneficial for boosting your stamina. It is a rich source of proteins, calcium and some natural sugars which help you keep your energy levels high. It is easy to digest as well so you need not wait for hours after eating yogurt to hit the gym. To maximize its benefits, add honey or some fruits to yogurt.
A good source of complex carbs, oatmeal can be a quick, convenient and healthy way to fuel your workouts. It settles well in your body and acts as a source of energy. Add some honey and fruits to maximize the benefits.
7. Brown rice and chicken
Consuming brown rice with chicken can be a great way of fuelling your workouts. While these foods might take some time to get absorbed into your blood stream, the nutrients in these two foods can boost your stamina to quite an extent. Brown rice is a good source of carbs and fibre and chicken is a good source of lean protein. This is the perfect meal to keep your body fuelled for rigorous workouts.
Balanced protein intake better for health
Researchers suggest that excessive consumption of protein for building muscle mass could have a negative impact on the body. However, wide-range of protein is best to maintain balance. Amino acids have long been touted by the fitness and bodybuilding communities for their muscle building benefits. From ultra-bulk protein powders to lean mass-promoting snack bars, there’s no shortage of products available for those seeking a muscle boost.
However, protein’s popularity has also meant that less attention has been paid to researching its potentially negative side-effects.
According to the study published in the Journal of Nature Metabolism, excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may reduce lifespan, negatively impact mood and lead to weight gain.
BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids. It’s a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine, and are most commonly found in red meat and dairy.
BCAAs great for adding muscle mass, but science says you could pay for it later.
Researchers have investigated the complex role nutrition plays in mediating various aspects of metabolic health, reproduction, appetite and ageing.
“While diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates were shown to be beneficial for reproductive function, they had detrimental effects for health in mid-late life, and also led to a shortened lifespan,” one of the researchers, Dr Samantha Solon explained.
“What this new research has shown is that amino acid balance is important. It’s best to vary sources of protein to ensure you’re getting the best amino acid balance.”
The current research examined the impacts that dietary BCAAs and other essential amino acids such as tryptophan had on the health and body composition of mice.
“Supplementation of BCAAs resulted in high levels of BCAAs in the blood which competed with tryptophan for transport into the brain,” explained one of the researchers, Professor Stephen Simpson.
“Tryptophan is the sole precursor for the hormone serotonin, which is often called the ‘happiness chemical’ for its mood-enhancing effects and its role in promoting sleep. But serotonin does more than this, and therein lay the problem,” he added.
Dietitian and public health nutritionist Dr Rosilene Ribeiro recommend eating a wide range of proteins.
It’s important to vary protein sources in order to get a variety of essential amino acids, through a healthy and balanced diet rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
BCAAs are essential amino acids present in protein-containing foods, with red meat and dairy being the richest sources. Chicken, fish and eggs are also nutritious sources of BCAAs.
Vegetarians can find BCAAs in beans, lentils, nuts and soy proteins.
Know the severity of falling sick in the morning
While sickness comes irrespective of the time, the severity of afflictions ranging from allergies to heart attacks differs in the morning from that in the night highlighted a new study. The study was published in the Journal Trends in Immunology which compiled studies, predominantly in mice, that looked at the connection between circadian rhythms and immune responses.
The body reacts to cues such as light and hormones to anticipate recurring rhythms of sleep, metabolism, and other physiological processes. The numbers of white blood cells, in both humans and mice also oscillate in a circadian manner.
Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, researchers in the study found that:
Heart attacks in humans are known to strike most commonly in the morning, and research suggests that morning heart attacks tend to be more severe than at night.
In mice, the numbers of monocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights off bacteria, viruses, and fungi –are elevated in the blood during the day. At night, monocytes are elevated in infarcted heart tissue, resulting in decreased cardiac protection at that time of day relative to morning.
Parasite infections are time-of-day dependent. Mice infected with the gastrointestinal parasite Trichuris muris in the morning have been able to kill worms significantly faster than those infected in the evening.
Allergic symptoms follow a time-of-day dependent rhythmicity, generally worse between midnight and early morning. Hence, the molecular clock can physiologically drive innate immune cell recruitment and the outcomes of asthma in humans, or airway inflammation in mice, the review notes.
“Investigating circadian rhythms in innate and adaptive immunity is a great tool to generally understand the physiological interplay and time-dependent succession of events in generating immune responses,” said senior author Christoph Scheiermann, University of Geneva.
ICMR develops affordable quick test kits for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed a cost-effective and rapid point-of-care test kit for diagnosing genetic bleeding disorders such as haemophilia A and Von Willebrand disease (VWD).
Diagnostics which are currently available require special equipment and are expensive.
“Both Haemophilia A and VWD are under diagnosed disorders in our country. There are only handful of comprehensive diagnostic centres for bleeding disorders,” an official at ICMR said.
“Lack of awareness and diagnostic facilities, high cost of tests are some of the factors for under-diagnosis of bleeding disorders in our country,” he said.
According to the ICMR, the kit is the world’s first point-of-care test for specific diagnosis of any common bleeding disorder and costs less than Rs 50 in comparison to existing conventional test that cost around Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000.
The newly developed kit would help in diagnosis within 30 minutes of blood sample collection. Also, this will be available at any level of health care system including primary health care centres (PHCs) since it does not require any special expertise or infrastructure.
Worldwide, incidence of Haemophilia A is 1 per 10,000 male births and that of VWD is around 1 per cent of the general population.
“In India, there is no epidemiological data. We may have roughly 80,000-1,00,000 severe Haemophilia cases in our country, but the total number registered with Haemophilia Federation India (HFI) is only around 19,000,” the official said.
Patients with severe Haemophilia A or VWD can have life threatening spontaneous or post-traumatic bleeding like brain haemorrhage and gastrointestinal bleeding. In emergency medical setting, it is important to have a quick diagnosis of bleeding disorders for treatment.
This rapid test kit can be used for the diagnosis of menorrhagia cases/ post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), gynecological complications among others.
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