There's a common myth out there that you should refrain from eating before working out. This notion stems from the belief that your body will tap into its fat reserves if there is no fuel available to burn first.
Although this can be the case, the truth is that your body needs fuel to provide energy for your workout--whether it be cardio or weightlifting. Juicing and blending the right foods can be a quick and easy way to get the right, energy-boosting fuel that your body needs for an effective workout.
There are numerous types of foods that can be juiced or blended. Foods with complex carbohydrates provide some of the best energy-producing fuel, as they supply glucose and are able to convert glucose into energy slowly, giving your muscles a consistent energy supply throughout your workout. Complex carbs are also better for your body because they're typically found in foods that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables and grains.
Your body takes about five hours to digest fat, three hours for protein and two hours for carbohydrates. For this reason if your workout is a few hours away your meal should consist of a combination of low fat, high carb foods with moderate protein. If your workout is about 90 minutes away--have a snack to energize.
This is where juicing enters the picture. Health drinks can be prepared quickly, easily and can be a great source of complex carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
The following recipes and their descriptions are extracted from the book Power Juices Super Drinks, by Steve Meyerowitz. They provide some great examples of health drinks that will boost your bodies' energy for a more effective workout.
The first example is a quick pick me-up that provides long term energy and is easy to make. Carrot juice is a great source of beta-carotene, the famous antioxidant that protects against the damaging effects of exercise and increases oxygen in the blood, tissues and brain. Ginseng is renown for providing strength and energy. Garlic, among its many other benefits, increases stamina.
- 8 oz. carrot juice
- 1 clove garlic, juiced
- 1 tsp. ginseng powder
Juice the carrots and garlic and stir in the ginseng powder or granules. Ginseng is available at health and oriental food stores. Use organic carrots for the best tasting juice.