Can you believe it’s the end of January? I feel like it was only yesterday that I was toasting to a New Year; time flies! As the New Year dawned I undertook a month long cleanse (wrap up video to come) and decided it was time to refocus my exercise efforts; and, although, eating healthy comes naturally to me, exercise is another matter all together.
I have been known to phone it in at the gym, meaning my exercises lacked focus and I ended up just spinning my wheels; which lead me to hire a training last year. But in an effort to be more fiscally responsible, I decided to take the responsibility of my own fitness on myself.
For a number of years I put all my eggs in my nutrition basket, but in the last few weeks since I have ramped up my solo exercise efforts, I have come to the conclusion that fitness and nutrition are the ying to each other’s yang- one is simply not complete without the other.
I have spoken enthusiastically about the merits of healthy eating on this website; but regular exercise improves metabolism and nutrient assimilation in the body. And, seeing as heart health awareness month is days away, it’s worth noting that regular exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, which leads to heart attack and stroke; and, straight up, a good sweat does wonders for the mindset too!
But when we exercise vigorously we increase our bodies demand for almost everything, nutrients and calories in particular. Because exercise improves elimination and metabolism, we then need to nourish our bodies on the regular. A solid diet for the athlete in all of us is centered on complex carbohydrates, such as quinoa and legumes, in addition to high quality protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Now, as the image above would suggest, I love a good smoothie; they are an integral part of my day, especially now that I am exercising 5-6 times a week. I love them for their convenience and their nutrient dense nature; but not all smoothies are created equal. It’s essential to pack your post workout smoothie with as many high quality nutrients as possible.
The most essential part of a post workout smoothie for recover is protein, as protein is the cornerstone of recovery. After a solid workout our muscles have little tears in them, but fear not, when we refuel with a protein rich post workout smoothie, we help these tears heal up even stronger; this is how muscle definition is born.
The right kind of protein is crucial for building strong muscles. For the vegans (and non vegans for that matter) among us there are many high quality protein sources available, such as: