11 Aug CHARGE up your workouts
CHARGE up your workouts with optimal nutrition
To charge up your workouts, your nutrition must be spot on. Use the CHARGE acronym to adjust your nutrition plan and get the most out of your next workout.
To improve endurance and resistance training, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends judicious use of caffeine. As an ergogenic performance aid, consumption of caffeine enables athletes to work harder during training.
The mechanism of action may be explained by caffeine’s effect on a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine. By ramping up available dopamine, you increase focus and vigilance while decreasing the perception of fatigue. In other words, caffeine allows you to work out harder without feeling as if you’re working harder.
Never underestimate the importance of proper hydration. Not only will dehydration, even in moderate amounts, substantially decrease your performance, but it can also be profoundly dangerous or even lethal. Athletes notoriously underestimate the amount of fluid they lose during a workout. Using water alone to replace those fluids is one option, but it’s not always the best option. Instead, consider a beverage that both hydrates and replaces the electrolytes you’ve lost through sweat during your workout.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. To build lean muscle, your body requires plenty of protein. In addition to the aesthetic aspects, because muscle burns more calories than fat (even at rest), building lean muscle should be a part of every weight loss program.
The ten essential amino acids include arginine, histadine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are named for the non-linear shape of their side chains. BCAAs include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Since BCAAs cannot be produced by the body, they must be consumed either via food or supplements.
Inflammation among fitness enthusiasts is problematic. Unfortunately, it is also fairly common. Inflammation can lead to pain. Pain is your body’s signal that something has gone amiss. The muscle soreness and joint pain experienced after a workout are commonly called “DOMS” or delayed onset muscle soreness.
Ignoring that pain can lead to injury and injury means your workout routine just came to a screeching halt. Fortunately inflammation can be addressed proactively with great nutrition. Curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric), for example, is an excellent, natural anti-inflammatory. You can find curcumin in high-quality nutritional supplements.
While it sounds exotic, guarana is derived from a simple plant from the maple family. Its properties as a stimulant are useful to both athletes and dieters. Because the energizing effect is released more slowly, it offers different benefits than caffeine, which is released in a quicker burst.
Nothing depletes electrolytes more quickly than an intense workout. Electrolytes are minerals which create positively charged ions when dissolved in bodily fluids like sweat, blood, and urine. For sports nutrition, the electrolytes of most importance include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium. You can remember them using the mnemonic “Sophie’s pots cook magnificent chowder.”
Electrolytes are essential in the functioning of the heart, for the contraction of muscles, and for a host of other cellular processes. Replenishing electrolytes during a workout, particularly workouts which involve a great deal of sweating, is essential. Replenishment is available through foods, but many athletes find that an electrolyte drink is more convenient, as it simultaneously hydrates the body, as well.
Charging up your workouts needn’t be complicated or pricey. Contact us today for professional advice on personalized nutrition that can take your workouts to the next level.