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Men’s Health

7 Diet Habits That Can Help You Get More From Your Workouts

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If you’re trying to be the swollen version of yourself but your focus isn’t on diet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The benefits of exercise are only partially determined by what you actually do in the gym. Other factors, like your diet, affect your physical results – and your health, too.

“Nutrition is the engine of everything you do. There’s gasoline in the car, ”says Albert Matheny, RD, CSCS, Co-Founder of SoHo Strength Lab, Promix Nutrition and Arena. When you eat well – and when you timing it right – “you have more energy and can exercise more easily,” says Matheny. But “the opposite is also the case,” he adds. That said, filling up the wrong foods and missing certain important meal windows can make it harder to give your all and meet your fitness goals while exercising.

Read on and keep our basic food choices in mind so that you can get the most out of your workout every time.

1. Plan meals and snacks.

Making food an afterthought is an easy way to torpedo your fitness goals. “Too many people don’t plan their diet and then make bad decisions when they get hungry,” said Joey Gochnour, RDN, NASM-CPT, a board certified exercise diet specialist with Nutrition and Fitness Professional. Take into account the times when you actually have time to eat, your physical needs for the day and when you need the maximum amount of energy for a workout. (Pro tip: Before you hit the gym, grab simple carbohydrates like sweet cherries. Think Bing, Lapin, and Sweetheart.) Then, put meals together on your schedule. (More on actual timing later.)

Remember: these meals and snacks don’t have to be complicated. “You don’t need extensive cooking skills to put peanut butter on a bagel, pour a bowl of granola or oatmeal, or make a sandwich with a piece of fruit and a glass of milk,” says Gochnour.

2. Make sure you are eating enough.

Malnutrition is a surprisingly easy trap to fall into when you work out at the gym regularly – and one that can catch up with you quickly. “If you’re chronically short of calories and protein, you may not be able to recover properly between workouts,” said Spencer Nadolsky, DO, chief medical officer, Renaissance Periodization. That means you may not be able to train as hard as you want, whether you’re running faster, longer, or lifting heavier weights with more repetitions.

To calculate how much fuel it will take to meet your goals in a given day, Nadolsky recommends checking the National Institutes of Health’s Body Weight Planner. There you can enter your current stats like height, weight and activity level along with your goals. The planner will help you determine exactly how many calories you should consume in a day.

“When it comes to protein goals, you can simplify things and shoot things up to around 0.75 grams per pound,” he says. So if you weigh 180, try to eat around 135 grams of protein a day.

3. Keep anti-inflammatory foods in the mix.

Westend61Getty Images

Some inflammation in your body is a normal part of the post-exercise healing process, but too much can actually affect your recovery, says Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, a nutrition and wellness expert and co-author of Sugar Shock. “Food can be an effective way of controlling exercise-induced inflammation, helping you recover faster and potentially relieving aches and pains,” she says.

Anti-inflammatory foods are usually high in antioxidants, says Cassetty. So vegetables and fruits are big sizes – especially sweet cherries (which shouldn’t be confused with their tart counterparts). Research published in the Journal of Nutrition has shown that consumption of sweet Bing cherries in particular can significantly reduce inflammatory biomarkers in the body. (Bonus: Eating them regularly can even help prevent chronic inflammatory diseases like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.)

4. Eat something easily digestible before exercising.

Everyone and their needs are slightly different, but in general you should think about the digestion time of your food, says Matheny. “Typically, you want to eat something before you workout that is digested faster, like simple carbohydrates,” Matheny says, listing PB&J and oatmeal as possible options. “This increases your blood sugar and gives you a little boost of energy.” Foods to avoid before training include those that are high in fat, protein, and fiber because they are digested more slowly.

Timing also plays a role. If you are consuming carbohydrates, Matheny recommends eating 20 to 30 minutes before your workout for maximum results. If you have something heavier, it is best to leave an hour or two before departure.

5. Always refuel after training.

“We used to tell everyone to eat [a meal] immediately after exercise to recover, but when you eat [something] Within a few hours before your workout, you don’t have to rush to get that meal, ”says Nadolsky.

Ideally, however, you should eat and consume plenty of protein within two hours of your workout. “Your muscles need protein to repair and rebuild, which will help maximize your strength gains,” explains Cassetty. “Your body also needs carbohydrates to replace what was used for energy during exercise. If you neglect eating, you are missing out on the chance to replace this muscle tissue so that you will not get the maximum benefit from your exercise and it can even affect your ability to recover. ”

6. Use food to help you sleep better and recover faster.

Yogurt in glasses with cherries and walnuts

Ekaterina Fedotova / 500pxGetty Images

Proper rest and recovery can help you start again tomorrow. “Diet and sleep patterns are intertwined,” says Cassetty. She points to a small study of 26 adults that found that people who ate a high-fiber diet spent more time in deep sleep than other participants, while those who ate sugary foods regularly were more awake at night.

“Eating a nutritious diet has also been shown to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep,” says Cassetty. “Basically, your sleep can suffer if you don’t eat well. And those who eat nutritious, high-fiber whole foods as part of a healthy diet will suffer less sleep problems. ”

Noteworthy: The same sweet cherries that can relieve inflammation also contain melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle. While Cassetty says that eating a bowl of cherries alone doesn’t automatically make you cramp, cherries can help if you combine them with good sleep hygiene, such as when you are sleeping.

7. Don’t forget the H2O.

Just a little dehydration can make you feel like you’re in the gym. The American College of Sports Medicine said in a joint statement with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that dehydration of 2 percent or more “can affect cognitive function and aerobic exercise performance, especially in hot weather.”

While hydration is important during exercise, this is especially important in advance of the main event, according to Matheny. “It doesn’t work if you’ve just had one coffee all day and then you drink a bottle of water before training,” he says. “You have to drink all day.”

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Men’s Health

5 Reasons Why You Need the New November Issue of Men’s Health

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How do you feel when you look in the mirror? We asked this question to more than 4,000 of you earlier this year. For two thirds the answer was: dissatisfied. Some of you were deeply unhappy; others simply saw room for improvement.

But the shapes that we strive for – “tall and wide”, “light and slim”, “what keeps me healthy” – differ just as much as our motivations for the will to change, from peer pressure and insensitive comments to improved athletic performance or the Desire for a longer life. In short, it’s complicated.

As the contributing editor of Men’s Health, Jamie Millar, puts it: “The question of male body image is complex, sometimes paradoxical. It is by definition a superficial topic that goes deep – right to the core of who we are, who we want to be, who we would like not to be. We manifest outward values ​​that we have internalized at some point. “

At the same time as we did our survey, Jamie asked five men about their relationships, what they see in the mirror, and his own experiences. You can find his investigative contribution in our November issue, which is available now.

We also conduct an extensive interview with actor Dave Bautista – a man who has made a name for himself with his imposing stature, but who wants to be known for much more than just muscles. Plus, we have all of the recipes, readings, kit reviews, and life hacks you need for a more powerful month. Here you can see what’s inside:

How men really think about their bodies

The male body image is an underestimated and overlooked topic. A combination of cultural influences, competitive instincts, and a conspiracy of remaining silent can often result in the pressure to look good or to look better being felt but seldom discussed. It’s time to reflect on yourself.

Dave Bautista: Unleashed

You might think you might know him as Deacon Batista or Drax the Destroyer. But this stocky 52-year-old – who calls himself a “dream hunter” and starred in the new science fiction film Dune, is only just beginning to come into its own.

Keeping up with Travis Barker

He was a headliner of rock stars until a tragic accident changed everything. Now the Blink-182 drummer is busy building his own wellness business, prioritizing his health, and showing how the long road to recovery can take some unexpected twists and turns.

The best ways to reduce stress (without hitting the bottle)

Whether you want to extend your sober October or just want to make strategic compromises, these tips will put a cork under stress and keep your spirits up at the end of a (very) long day.

7 minutes to a stronger you

No space in your diary for a trip to the gym today? No problem. These four “microdose” body explosions can be made anywhere. You better move in, well, no time.

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Men’s Health

Jeremy Ethier’s No-Equipment 6-Pack Abs Core Training Workout

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If your goal is six pack abs, you have to work hard and eat a disciplined diet – but according to Jeremy Ethier, fitness trainer and founder of Built with Science, you can effectively work your abs without adding a weight. In his latest YouTube video, Ethier shares his four-move abdominal circuit workout without equipment, which he says is tough enough to get real results at home.

First, it addresses three important issues that play an important role in training with your own body weight. Ethier says the key is to hit all four sections of your abs to avoid imbalance in your body and avoid a routine that favors certain regions over the others. He adds that most bodyweight workouts don’t make the exercises harder over time in order to continually stimulate the growth of your abs. In other words, there is no possibility of progressive overload. After all, he says that way too many bodyweight abs exercises will strain your hip flexors and lower back more than your abs – so his workout addresses that issue too.

By solving these three problems, Ethier says you can use this workout for even more effective body weight ab training.

The 6-pack training without equipment

Repeat for 3 rounds, resting 15 seconds between each exercise. Rest 2 minutes between each set.

Failures: 5 to 10 repetitions
Reverse crunches:
10 to 25 repetitions
Crunch:
10 to 25 repetitions
Russian twins:
1 minute continuously

Failures

This movement hits your TVA (transverse abs), which, according to Ethier, is the least talked about about abs. While using an abdominal roll is a great choice to accomplish this, this workout doesn’t use any equipment. Instead, you can achieve a similar effect with work stoppages.

To do this, take all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Rotate your hips and contract your abs, pulling your belly button into your spine to activate your TVA. Slowly step out with your hands, going only as far out as you can maintain this shape without arching your back, and then step back with your hands.

Reverse crunches

This movement targets the lower abs – Ethier calls it a “bottom-up” exercise, one that lifts your lower body up, like a leg raise.

To do this, lie on your back with your arms straight at your sides and your knees bent at 90 degrees. To initiate your lower abs, squeeze your glutes and contract your abs to create that backward pelvic tilt and press your back against the floor. Instead of thinking about lifting your legs, roll your pelvis towards your belly button. Avoid arching your lower back on the way down and keep it flat on the floor when you hit the floor. You can make this easier or harder depending on how much you pull your legs in or out.

crunch

Crunches hit your upper abs and Ethier sees it as a top-down exercise that brings the top half of your body down.

But you shouldn’t just fall down and bend over like you might be used to. To perform crunches that don’t overwhelm your hip flexors, Ethier recommends using a tool: a rolled-up towel. Start by leaning back, knees bent, and hands folded behind your head. Place the towel under your lower back to increase the range of motion in your abs. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor by flexing your spine and come back down. Do not bring your torso to your knees and avoid tugging your neck to avoid using momentum. Make the reps harder by placing your hands over your head or (when you’re ready to stop the non-gait protocol) using a weight.

Russian twins

These hit the obliques, which Ethier says are best attacked by movements that twist the upper body.

Ethier also warns that most people get this exercise wrong. To make Russian twists more effective, tilt your back at a 45-degree angle. The goal is to touch both sides of the floor with your hands as you rotate your torso so your shoulders dictate the rotation. Focus on aligning your shoulder with your leg. (Your left shoulder lines up with your left leg as you twist to the right.)

To encourage this movement, lift your feet slightly off the floor and try to reach out with your arms further and further out to force your obliques to work harder to stabilize your body.

Ethier recommends doing the workout two to three times a week along with your other workouts. Most importantly, you shouldn’t just stick to the basic structure. When it gets easier, he says you should increase the repetitions and add the progressions he demonstrates for the movements. That way, you can actually take advantage of progressive overload to encourage growth without adding extra weight.


Emily Shiffer is a former men’s health and prevention digital web producer and currently a freelance writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness.

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Men’s Health

The No-Sweat Guide to Getting Your Fall Fitness Gear Locked Down

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Fall has always been known as the season of change, but this time it feels different. Beyond the sinking temperatures and dwindling hours of daylight, we are entering a season in which the world as we knew it has changed. It seems like every type of business and industry – restaurants, offices, gyms, cinemas, fashion brands, schools, to name a few – has rethought their approach to everything. And the advantage? Some of these things just make a lot more sense.

One advantage that I have come to appreciate is an optimized and more efficient shopping experience. Often seen as a chore, shopping has taken on a real shine thanks to the unexpected rise of the QR code, of all things. I rarely used them in early 2020 and now I pull out my phone every time I see one – especially in restaurants and shops – knowing it will make my life a lot easier. PayPal and Venmo rushed with a backup, making transactions seamless and secure. You can also continue to collect credit card points when you pay with your credit card through the PayPal app. Win win.

Now even the fitness industry is taking part in the QR code promotion, as brands like Foot Locker, Inc. are accepting PayPal and Venmos no-contact checkout in stores. When home exercise suddenly became the norm, the demand for fitness equipment skyrocketed and has not decreased since then. Brands had to find smart, new ways to get you the things they needed with no hassle. After all, what better way to motivate yourself to sweat it out among strangers (virtual or not) than channeling all of those seizures you had in the weight room?

When it comes to an unprecedented variety of products and brands designed specifically for performance, you will find no better place to shop than the Foot Locker family of stores – which includes Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Footaction. And when you’re getting your workout mojo back into shape, we highly recommend diving in for a hassle-free replenishment that doesn’t have to worry about the return. Here is what you can buy in store.

A sweat-free wardrobe

From sleek, minimalist sweatpants with sporty details to cozy (and trendy!) Sweatshirts, Foot Locker is jam-packed with stylish gear that will get you back to the gym and turn your head without breaking a sweat. For the comings and goings, there’s nothing like Nike’s retro lightweight outerwear, and stock up on these signature Adidas tees that will let everyone know you take style seriously. Getting back into a routine can be tricky, but shopping won’t be: you can just scan and pay with PayPal or Venmo while knowing your banking details are under lock and key.

Standard edition pants

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 75.00

Anorak waffle 2 jacket

Anorak waffle 2 jacket

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 150.00

Classic pullover hoodie

Classic pullover hoodie

champion
footlocker.com

$ 50.00

Originals Essential T-Shirt

Originals Essential T-Shirt

Adidas
footlocker.com

$ 25.00

Some workout kicks you can trust

Every good workout starts with a solid foundation. You have to feel the ground beneath your feet, whether you’re flying over the asphalt and barely touching down or have a good firm hold to lift a heavy weight. Heck, even sipping in the locker room requires proper footwear. While Vans iconic shoes may be one of the few that can be said to be timeless and really serious, a lot of people like them for lifting – their flat insoles provide maximum contact to be properly grounded. In the meantime, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 23 and the Brooks Ghost 14 are the go-to place for guys looking to cover some serious miles and take some time off their splits. And there is no better locker room shoe than an Adidas slide, another style that could be considered a modern classic. Checking out with any of these styles using PayPal and Venmo QR Codes can feel just as fast as your sprint record.

GEL-Cumulus 23

GEL-Cumulus 23

ASICS
footlocker.com

$ 120.00

Adilette slide

Adilette slide

Adidas
footlocker.com

$ 45.00

Spirit 14

Spirit 14

Brooks
footlocker.com

$ 130.00

EVDNT

EVDNT

Vans
footlocker.com

$ 100.00

A couple of fresh upgrades

Even after the session, you need to make sure that everything is right from head to toe. To get started, grab a fitted cap (with just the right amount of high-end designer co-sign) to keep the sun out of your eyes, like this one from cult LA-based brand Fear of God. Grab a sleek, versatile tote bag to carry all of your essentials – sneakers, a couple of protein bars, and a change of clothes – and one that adds value to your outfit, doesn’t distract you. Finally, add a touch of contrast to your outfit with a pair of eye-catching socks. You will need them to remind others that despite your impressive muscle gains, you are still a fun guy.

Adapted cap

Adapted cap

Fear of god
footlocker.com

$ 65.00

A travel bag

A travel bag

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 65.00

Tie-dye socks

Tie-dye socks

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 18.00

3-pack of briefs

While you might not find shopping fun, you at least know that technology has finally made it easy to get your hands on the best gear of the season. You can’t ask for more, can you?

Find out more about paying in person with PayPal or Venmo QR Codes in Foot Locker, Inc. stores here

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