The truth of dieting when weightlifting isn’t all about the carbs and proteins. It’s the bigger picture. It’s the science of the properly balancing your meals, eating foods that will interact effectively to either jump start muscle building or engage weight loss.
The x-factor is fruit. The food group has such diverse benefits and many are critical in making your body better and stronger. In fact, if you time your fruit intake properly, then it will immense effects in changing your muscles and body. Here’s several ways on how to take the right fruits at the right times and increase your muscle exponentially.
All fitness junkies know that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. So if you are trying to build muscle, then it’s doubly important. For instance, the liver burns its glycogen to supply the glucose needed to make your brain function during sleep. In this sleep stage, the liver glycogen levels dip and it sends signals to the brain to break down muscle protein. That means the fructose intake won’t be converted to fat.
That also means you could eat as much as possible. More importantly, you should eat as much fructose as possible — aka certain fruits — to rebuild the liver glycogen levels. The best options for your morning fruit intake is to pick one to two types of fruits. You should choose one cup of diced pineapple, one wedge of honeydew melon, one medium orange or one medium banana.
Get Those Pre-Workout Juices Flowing
Most gym-goers are on some sort of diet — it could be low fat, low carb or high fat and high protein. But regardless of your pre-workout regime, you are going to need fruits about 30 to 60 minutes before you workout. This is even more essentially when you haven’t eat a high-carb meal for hours. The fructose levels will replace the liver glycogen used during the day. The fruits will also enable glucose to the working muscles and help the muscles cells grow. For this pre-workout selection, you will need to choose one or two types of fruits. The best fruits will be either be pear, watermelons (one wedge), apples, cantaloupe (1/2 melon), grapes (one cup), strawberries (two cups) or raspberries (two cups).
Re-Energize With These Fruits After the Workout
Of course the best time for muscle building meals is after the workout. Eating high protein foods such as meats, fish or chicken is typically the way to go. Still, there’s nothing wrong with eating fruits. It will replenish your glycogen levels to both your muscle and liver. However, the carb levels in fruit won’t provide the carb intake you’re looking for when building muscles. Two servings of fruits contain 20-30 grams of carbs. For maximizing better muscle growth you will need have 40-100 grams so mixing the fruit with potatoes, rice or oatmeal. Or you could have a whey protein shake, which contains 20 grams of carbs. Regardless, the fruits give other great nutrients in post-workout. Make sure you are having one or two servings of cherries, peaches, apples and berries.
A Deeper Understanding
You now have a basic understanding the values of your core fruits and the best times to ingest. But each fruit has its own benefits, nutrients and goes way beyond being a glycogen replenishment. There’s even certain fruits that help you lose weight. The grapefruit has the biggest benefit when it comes to losing weight. A study by Muscle and Fitness magazine and Web MD proved that people that ate half a grapefruit with meals or drank eight ounces of grapefruit juice three times a day for 12 weeks lost an average of four pounds. There was even an high of ten pounds and that was without a true diet. The vitamin C in oranges helps protect nitric oxide from being broken down. It acts an antioxidant after workouts. Apples have been shown to increase strength and enable fat loss. Cherries contain anthocyanins, which reduces inflammation and helps with recovery from injuries and illnesses. Finally, the citrulline in watermelon allows better blood flow.
The new age of diets such as Keto diminishes the value of fruits. In fact, the Ketosis Diet doesn’t allow fruits of any sorts in any meal plans (because of the carb count). But disregard all you have read. If you know your fruits and the times to take them, then your body will react in the best way possible. It never hurts to eat any fruit.
Image credit: Israel Egio [Unsplash]
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