Train­ing

Cus­tomize your daily bev­er­ages for im­proved strength and per­for­mance.

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Cus­tomize your bev­er­ages to im­prove strength and per­for­mance.

you know you’re sup­posed to con­sume plenty of flu­ids — es­pe­cially wa­ter — ev­ery day. But you also can rely on other bev­er­ages to pro­vide hy­dra­tion, in­clud­ing cof­fee, tea, milk and pro­tein shakes. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of your daily bev­er­ages.

EARLY-MORN­ING BUZZER Cof­fee is a low-cal way to get your brain synapses snap­ping when you first rise and is es­pe­cially use­ful pre­work­out: Re­search shows that con­sum­ing caf­feine blunts the pain as­so­ci­ated with lifting heav­ier weights or in­creas­ing work­out vol­ume, which boosts long-term per­for­mance. Cof­fee is also high in an­tiox­i­dants, which neu­tral­ize harm­ful free rad­i­cals, pre­vent­ing dam­age to cells and al­low­ing for bet­ter re­cov­ery and long-term health. Myth buster: Re­search shows that cof­fee does count as part of your daily fluid in­take and that caf­feine only has a mod­est de­hy­drat­ing ef­fect. Aug­ment your cof­fee value by adding one or both these items to your cup of joe:

Fast-di­gest­ing pro­tein to pro­vide amino acids and help pre­vent lean tis­sue break­down.

Half-and-half or nut milk to slow the ab­sorp­tion of pro­tein for a more steady de­liv­ery of nu­tri­ents.

PRE­WORK­OUT ENERGIZER Pre­work­out drinks pro­vide you with sus­tained en­ergy, im­prov­ing per­for­mance and men­tal and phys­i­cal en­durance dur­ing your work­out. But not all of them con­tain ev­ery­thing you need for a killer sweat sesh. See if yours is miss­ing one of these ben­e­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents, and mix it in be­fore hit­ting the iron:

Easy-to-di­gest pro­tein to pro­vide read­ily avail­able amino acids to pre­vent mus­cle break­down.

Branched-chain amino acids, cre­a­tine and glu­tamine to sup­port bet­ter per­for­mance, im­prove mus­cle pro­tein syn­the­sis, boost ATP pro­duc­tion and pre­vent mus­cle break­down, re­spec­tively.

WAKE AND RE­LAX Green tea of­fers a myr­iad of health ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing im­prov­ing men­tal fo­cus for bet­ter ath­letic per­for­mance, el­e­vat­ing mood, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the re­lease of fat from stor­age and sup­port­ing joint health. You also can drink green tea be­fore bed­time. (Seek out a de­caf­feinated ver­sion if you’re sen­si­tive to caf­feine.) It con­tains the amino acid thea­nine, which pro­motes a deep and rest­ful sleep. En­hance the ef­fec­tive­ness of your tea with one of these boost­ers, de­pend­ing on the time of day you drink it: At night, add pro­tein to pre­vent mus­cle break­down while you’re sleep­ing. Pre­work­out, add beta-ala­nine for in­creased strength and en­durance.

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