NoIf you’re the type of person who runs, spins, and works out but has a diet full of processed, sugary, and refined foods, it might be time to think again. Scientists have now proven that eating enough healthy and wholesome foods can have a huge impact on your cardiovascular fitness – the equivalent of taking 4,000 more steps a day. And this change can happen in four days.
Cardio activity increases with aerobic activity, but sports scientists have long suspected that other factors, including diet, contribute to higher levels of exercise in people who exercise at the same level. In a study published this month in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Bethesda researchers looked at 2,380 adults. Israel Deacon Medical Center in Boston put participants through grueling fitness tests on the first indoor bikes. Their diets were then analyzed in a questionnaire, and those who ate vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and healthy fats scored highest, and those who ate processed foods, red meat and alcohol scored lowest.
The results showed that after adjusting for other factors, including age and physical activity, healthy eaters performed better on aerobic fitness tests. “This study provides the strongest and most rigorous evidence to date to support the link between better nutrition and higher fitness,” said Dr. Michael Mee, cardiologist and senior author of the paper. “The improvement in fitness we saw in participants with a better diet was equivalent to taking 4,000 more steps each day.”
To find out why, Mi and his team took blood samples from 1,154 participants to establish 201 metabolic levels; Nutrients such as amino acids are produced during digestion and distributed in the bloodstream during exercise. A healthy diet leads to the release of certain metabolites that improve exercise performance, “which may be one way that it leads to better fitness and exercise ability,” he said.
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Switching to a Mediterranean-style diet that includes fresh, whole foods and lots of leafy vegetables, healthy fats, white meat like chicken or fish, nuts and low-sugar drinks like water and milk, Mee says, “is great.” A place to start.” Researchers at St. Louis University reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that, in fact, they’re reaping the benefits within four days. People on the Mediterranean diet lost 5K at a 6 percent faster rate.
Special foods can provide a boost when combined with regular exercise. Your energy levels, recovery powers and overall fitness are greatly influenced by what you eat, says sports nutritionist Rob Hobson. “For most people who want to live a little more balanced, getting what you need is more effective than supplements because food contains more nutrients and compounds that help the body adapt to exercise.”
Blueberry smoothies can help with accelerated muscle repair
A blueberry helps prevent smooth muscle damage
Blueberries are rich in antioxidant compounds such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and flavonols, “all of which have anti-inflammatory properties that help muscles recover faster after intense exercise,” says Hobson. Last year, New Zealand researchers asked participants to drink a blueberry smoothie made with 200 grams of frozen blueberries, banana and 200 ml of apple juice or a placebo made without the berries before and after vigorous exercise at the gym. The results showed that the blueberry smoothie group experienced accelerated muscle repair and faster recovery of muscle strength.
Add olive oil to increase your mileage
Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, including the powerful oleic acid known to reduce inflammation in the body, olive oil is good for heart and overall health, but there’s also evidence that it can boost your fitness. Research shows that adding olive oil to your diet can improve muscle metabolism and increase endurance exercise performance, says Hobson. Anglia Ruskin University researchers recently reported in the journal Nutrients that olive oil contains plant compounds, including hydroxytyrosol, that have strong antioxidant benefits for runners. ARU Associate Professor Justin Roberts said the olive oil improved key indicators of running performance, including perceived exertion – how hard runners pushed and recovery. “We found that 16 days of supplementation had a positive effect on aerobic exercise performance, particularly in recreational runners at low levels,” Roberts said.
Eat green leafy and beetroot salad to increase strength
Rocket, baby spinach, radishes, Swiss chard, oak leaf lettuce, and beetroot are all rich in inorganic foods such as nitrites, compounds that the body converts to nitrites and then to nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. A daily dose of these nitrate-rich foods has been shown in studies conducted at the University of Exeter to increase strength, allow people to exercise 16 percent more than usual, and improve performance in endurance activities. And just one super-salad meal a day can boost muscle strength and performance in the legs, Australian scientists have revealed. “Nitrates are very important for health and fitness,” says Hobson.
Wash down with a glass of milk to continue muscle function after exercise
When it comes to post-workout hydration, sugary sports drinks and highly processed protein shakes are no match for milk. “Milk is a mixture of water, carbohydrates, protein and micronutrients, which makes it unique as a post-workout recovery drink,” says sports nutritionist Anita Bean. A complete guide to sports nutrition (Bloomsbury) Studies have shown that milk not only promotes better recovery, but also promotes restorative processes, including replenishing the body’s glycogen or carbohydrate stores and muscle-protein repair and rebuilding. In a study conducted at Newcastle University and Middlesex University, researchers found that milk is a “beneficial recovery intervention” because it prevents the loss of muscle strength and function after exercise.
Eat a bowl of black pudding to help get rid of thigh fat
Studies show that the high levels of anthocyanins (pigments with antioxidant properties that give berries their purple color) in blackcurrants are responsible for reducing muscle soreness by up to 49 percent after exercise. “Eating blackberries has been shown to protect against proteins that leak from damaged muscle tissue,” says Hobson. “This helps relieve muscle pain for up to 48 hours afterward.” High in water content, blackcurrants and other berries help rehydrate the body after exercise. And they can contribute to better fat burning. Researchers at the University of Chichester reported last year in the journal Nutrients that fat burning increased by an average of 25 percent and 66 percent for participants who consumed blackberries along with daily aerobic activity, such as walking. Berries are especially effective in reducing thigh fat in women.
A few almonds help increase strength
All nuts are a source of fiber, protein and antioxidants, but almonds are a particularly effective exercise aid. “We know protein is important for muscle repair and strength, but research shows it’s better to eat protein throughout the day than to eat it all at once as a protein shake,” says Hobson. “This makes nuts like almonds the perfect snack for exercisers.” In the year In a 2022 study by researchers at Appalachian State University, participants reported improved leg and lower back strength and improved recovery after 90 minutes of exercise when they ate 57 grams of almonds — half in the morning and half later in the day — compared to a high-carb cereal bar.