Last month we talked about strong bones. This month it’s strong muscles. This doesn’t mean we are all going to be power-lifters, but it is important to maintain good muscle structure around our bones to stay strong and healthy.
After a workout (even a brisk walk), our muscles have small tears that need repair. Proper nutrition is imperative to repair these correctly, which in turn strengthens the overall muscle structure, which then supports strong bones and healthy metabolism.
Protein – we need good, lean, healthy sources of protein: eggs, dairy, poultry, fish and meat. Utilize lean protein throughout regular meals, and then ideally have several ounces of protein within 30 minutes after a workout to help repair the small tears that occur in the muscle during our workout. (Non-animal sources of protein need to be combined properly to achieve complete amino acid profiles.)
Carbohydrate – good sources of carbohydrate provide enough glycogen stores to complete a workout or a good, long walk. Complex carbohydrates are good to eat at least an hour before a workout to allow time to digest: whole grains, beans, and legumes. Simple carbohydrates can be consumed in a small amount right before a workout to give us a jump-start of energy while we wait for glycogen stores to be utilized: juice and fruit.
Fats – healthy fats are essential for long-term energy needs, as well as absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. We should consume fats as a regular part of our meals as these stores will help with long-term energy needs.
Water – hydration is extremely important, and not just before activity. Staying hydrated all day long keeps cells working properly to deliver nutrients and remove toxins. The more sweat, the more water is needed during and after exercise.
Utilize these powerful nutrients to keep going with those “power moves.”
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