Workout: Expert discusses different types of protein powders
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Just started working out? You may need to change your diet. Express.co.uk chatted to professional footballer, functional nutrition expert and founder of The Turmeric Co, Hal Robson-Kanu to find out which five foods you should incorporate into your diet to boost your performance and speed up your recovery if you’ve started exercising.
If you’re new to working out, you’ll probably have noticed how different foods fuel your workouts better than others.
Hal said: “Diet has a very important role to play in fuelling athletic performance and improving physical recovery.
“Not all foods are equal, so making the right choices can give you a huge advantage in these areas.
“Understanding the benefits of certain nutrients, minerals and vitamins can make a world of difference to your workouts!”
Not sure where to start? Thomas has revealed the five foods to work into your diet to improve your energy and recovery.
Eggs are one of the ultimate superfoods, Hal explained.
He said: “Eggs are packed with both vitamins and protein, meaning they’re ideal for supporting muscle growth, bone health, and physical recovery.
“As a result, incorporating eggs into your post-workout routine is strongly recommended.”
Valuable protein can be found in both the egg white and yolk, so to enjoy the full benefits and eat the whole thing!
The footballer added: “Pairing eggs with an easily digested carbohydrate such as potatoes or bread can also make for a powerful recovery meal.
“The eggs deliver protein (to help build and repair muscles) while the carbs replenish your glycogen (your ‘fuel’ during an intense workout).
“Eggs are also affordable and easily transported – meaning they’re ideal as a post-workout snack.”
Chia seeds may be small, but they certainly pack a punch!
Hal said: “These seeds are full of protein, which is essential for muscle growth.
“They also contain magnesium, which is another nutrient that helps muscles to relax and recover after a tough workout.”
Chia seeds aren’t just helpful for recovery, they’re also great for maintaining energy levels or boosting a workout.
The expert said: “They’re full of soluble fibre, which your body can use for energy.
“Soluble fibre also promotes healthy bacteria in your gut, which improves digestive functions and supports your immune system – vital to your overall health.”
On top of this, chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for supporting brain function and cardiovascular health.
They’re also pretty versatile food, and Thomas recommends including them in smoothies, salad dressings, and even energy bars to squeeze them into your daily diet.
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Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce muscle soreness and prevent inflammation, which often occurs after overtraining.
Hal explained: “This is thanks to curcumin, the main nutrient found in turmeric.
“Curcumin is the special ingredient that makes turmeric so effective at supporting recovery.
“However, turmeric isn’t always easy to incorporate into everyday meals, and it can be hard to find different ways to include it in recipes.
“It can also be difficult for your body to absorb the vital curcumin properly without a ‘helper’, like black pepper.
“This means that trying to cram turmeric into your daily meals might not be the most efficient way of getting your fix.”
Taking turmeric shots, such as the shots from The Tumeric Co, are a much simpler way to ensure that you’re getting enough turmeric in your diet.
Turmeric shots are easily absorbed by your body, meaning you can quickly start enjoying the recovery benefits.
No preparation or cooking is needed – just drink the shot, and enjoy the natural power!
Beetroot is proven to increase cardiorespiratory performance and improve muscle function – this is due to nitric oxide found in the beet juice.
Hal said: “This nitric oxide increases blood flow and feeds vital oxygen to working muscles, meaning improved endurance – perfect for running, weightlifting, cycling, and a range of other workouts.
“Beetroot can also contribute to overall health improvement – studies have shown that it can reduce blood pressure and prevent inflammation, meaning it’s a great all-around addition to any diet.
“Blending beetroot into a smoothie can create a simple and powerful pre-workout drink, but you can also enjoy the same benefits by cooking the vegetable, or by taking beetroot supplements.”
Adding just two weekly servings of salmon into your diet can do wonders for your athletic performance, according to Thomas.
The footballer said: “Salmon does a lot of good for your body. It’s very high in protein, which is vital for muscle growth.
“It also provides you with omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for supporting heart health and warding off illness.
“It’s a very versatile food, meaning you’re less likely to get bored of eating it – it can be poached, oven-cooked, pan-fried and grilled.
“Salmon also provides a wide range of other health benefits, keeping you active and feeling good.
“It can boost your metabolism to support weight loss, improve brain function, prevent inflammation and even reduce blood pressure.”
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