We all know how important it is to eat properly. To reach your health, weight loss, and fitness goals, you've got to eat real, whole, clean foods. And yet, despite this knowledge, we can find ourselves dipping into the realm of junk food.
No one is perfect all of the time, right? Don't beat yourself up too much, turns out some of these foods could benefit you pre-/and or post-workout!
That's right, some of your favorite junk foods may actually be helpful!
Here are 5 junk foods you might want reconsider:
Any healthy diet requires protein and if you eat 3 slices of bacon, you can expect to get around 10 grams of protein! Protein is especially useful to you after a workout. "Protein helps with building the muscles up," says Robert Silverman, a certified nutritionist in New York. During your workout, you create tiny tears in your muscle tissue. Protein will help them recover. If you'd like a slightly healthier bacon option, choose uncurred turkey bacon. All the protein, none of the preservatives.
Okay, so you shouldn't be eating waffles for breakfast everyday, but they are okay once in a while after a workout. "Exercise changes the dynamic of the absorption of food," says Silverman. "Pre-, during, and post-exercise nutrition is a key component of performance and recovery." If you eat carbohydrates within a half hour of your workout, your body will absorb the glucose and use it to replenish the glycogen stores.
Not all carbohydrates are evil. In fact, carbs can be particularly useful before your sweat session. "People are afraid of carbohydrates," says Silverman. "But carbs before a workout are the quick gas." One bagel has 34 grams of carbohydrates which can give you the energy boost you need to smash your workout. And after your workout, they, like waffles, can help you replenish your lost glycogen.
If you're going to have that bagel, you might as well have it with grass-fed butter! Before your workout, it can provide you with energy and help you burn fat. After your workout, it can help reduce inflammation. "Our society still
fears fat," says Jessica Dogert, R.D. and nutritionist at Chicago's Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery. "But fat is the ultimate brain food." Butter may be just the thing to help you stay focused during our training!
5. Chocolate Milk
Not just for kids any more, chocolate milk is the ultimate recovery drink
! "Chocolate milk is a perfect combination of protein and carbs and enables repair to the muscle tissue and prepares your body for the next workout," says Silverman. In fact, one study found that drinking chocolate milk 30 minutes after a workout, and again 2 hours later, helps to reduce muscle damage. Other studies have found chocolate milk can also help reduce muscle soreness. Win-win, we say!
This list isn't an excuse for you to go off the rails and start eating butter bacon bagel sandwiches but it is a reminder that you don't have to be perfect 100% of the time. Even foods we call "junk," can have nutritional value! If you need a hand keeping things on track, have a look at the BodyRock Meal Plan
. More than just a recipe book (although it is that, too!), the Meal Plan provides you with 30 days worth of meal planning and a nutrition guide that gives you all the information you need to start making healthy, informed decisions!
Was there a food on this list that surprised you?
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