Smoothies are the ultimate power breakfast, in my opinion. In one easy and portable drink, you get multiple servings of fruit and vegetables plus protein so it always lasts you till lunch. And no matter what the ingredients are it always ends up tasting delicious, which makes me think my blender has magical powers.
Once I discovered you could add spinach to smoothies without altering the taste, my morning breakfast was forever changed. In this smoothie, we add spinach and green tea powder, or “matcha,” which contains more antioxidants than brewed green tea, raspberries and blueberries combined!
In other words, this is one of the healthiest smoothies on the block! (more…)
I cannot count the number of times I’ve pulled out of my city for a road trip with an empty tank of gas. That’s because it’s never happened. Aside from making sure I have everything I need in my luggage, and a stash of mostly healthy snacks, the first thing I do before turning on the GPS is fill up my gas tank. Otherwise, that’ll become a very short and probably expensive trip.
It’s a common metaphor to compare our bodies to gas tanks, but it couldn’t be more true. Our bodies need food for energy, for brain function, to get us from point A to point B in our workouts.
I want to explain which snacks are best for both sides of your workout and why snacking for each should be treated differently.
“The two snacks should be very different. First and foremost, the harder or longer your workout is, the more important each snack becomes,” Holly Perkins told us, a fitness expert and ambassador for New Balance.
She explained that a pre-workout snack has dual functionality. “One, to ensure immediate fuel from the very moment you begin your workout, and two to preemptively start the protein recovery process so that you’ll feel great for TOMORROW’S workout.”
Before a workout, you want to keep it simple with easily digested foods. Don’t eat a huge meal or anything that could cause stomach disruption, like hummus or beans. The purpose of this pre-workout snack is to prevent low blood sugar, increase muscle and liver carbohydrate stores, and prevent hunger throughout the duration of your workout, as well as provide the energy you need to power through.
Holly told us, “You want a combination of easily digestible protein paired with a moderately fast carbohydrate. You don’t want a super fast carbohydrate like sugar or a sports drink because this kind of sugar enters the bloodstream very quickly. This means that it will also exit the bloodstream quickly, leaving you tired mid-workout.” (more…)
Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.
In the fitness world whey protein is king. Everyone’s post-workout shake is whey. Everyone’s pre-workout shake is whey. Everyone is cooking and baking with whey. You would think it was the only kind of protein powder out there.
While whey protein is the most popular, it isn’t the only protein powder on the block. In fact, you may be missing the boat if you aren’t including some other protein powders in your nutritional arsenal. Depending on your lifestyle and goals, there may be a better fit for your nutritional plan.
Soy: A non-animal derived protein powder that is also a complete protein. Soy may be a better fit if you’re a vegetarian or avoiding dairy. A 2004 study at the University of Ohio indicated that soy could be better at protecting against oxidative stress than whey, making this easily digestible protein an alternative for your post workout shake.
What’s the best protein supplement I should take? As a personal trainer, I tend to get this quite often. I strongly recommend getting your protein from a healthy source that is a part of your diet rather than taking a protein supplement. Obviously, we are always on the go and don’t have time to cook or grill chicken or round-up other healthy high-protein meats or dairy products. So, with that being said, below is a list of the best quality protein powders that will help meet your body’s protein needs.
Whey is a popular supplement for people looking to build lean muscle mass. The protein is a by-product of the process of turning cow’s milk into cheese. When you use it in its purest form, as whey protein isolate, it contains little-to-no fat, lactose or cholesterol. And, if you use whey protein along with a healthy diet and fitness program, you will have a better chance of developing lean muscles and lose weight.
Types of Whey Protein
There are two types of milk proteins: casein and whey protein. Within the whey category, there are three major forms that are used weight loss and fitness purposes: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate (as mentioned above), and whey protein hydrolysate.