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Lean Muscle Food

The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. If you workout regularly, you’ll soon realise that going home to a fridge or cupboard full of unhealthy snacks isn’t the best way to support your active lifestyle.

You’ll want to shed fat while still keeping or gaining your lean muscle, and some types of food or snacks will support this goal better than others. Some of the top foods for gaining lean muscle include:

  • Eggs, cottage cheese, greek yoghurt.
  • Salmon, chicken breast, tuna, shrimp or lean beef. 
  • Soy beans, beans, peanuts, brown rice.

Healthy Breakfasts

Regular healthy breakfasts may include banana, muesli, fruit, honey, oatmeal, peanut butter and health bread, but if you’ve been to the gym for an early workout, you will probably want something a little more substantial afterwards.  

Egg breakfasts are a good option for those post-workout mornings, especially when combined with smoked salmon or avo, beans or spinach.  

Protein Meals 

Grilled chicken breast doesn’t have to be boring.  Mix and match these kind of ingredients:

  • Consider pairing chicken breasts with butternut, quinoa and baby spinach.
  • Make a meal of chicken breast, brown rice, yoghurt and coriander.
  • Add feta cubes, corn, broccoli and basil pesto for a different flavour.

In a similar way, you can choose tuna as your base and mix it up with lemon, peas and brown rice. Or add it to boiled egg with carrot strips or celery and some light mayo. Better yet, add kale, sweet potato or pumpkin seeds. 

Spice up any of your meals with turmeric, cayenne pepper, chillies or ginger according to your taste.

If you want to be even more creative, there are tons of recipes online. But you don’t have to be an expert cook or experienced chef to whip up a healthy meal for yourself.

If you haven’t had time to shop, some gyms will offer on-premise health food cafes or juice bars. 

Planet Fitness, for example, includes Planet Café at the Wanderers club

 

 
pre-and-post-workout

Boost & Recover: pre and post workout essentials

Boost & Recover: pre and post workout essentials

Let’s face it, you can’t buy fitness in a can. Supplements don’t replace a good nutrition plan or represent a substitute for regular exercise. But if your foundation is good, then nutritional supplements can enhance your performance and results.

Different supplements deliver different advantages, so let’s take a look at what your body most needs pre and post workout.

Before you start

Already mixed pre workout supplements represent a good blend of different ingredients. So what are some of the main fuels they contain and how do they work?

  • Creatine is a molecule that plays a role in energy production in your body’s cells. This means you will be able to lift heavier for longer!
  • Not only does caffeine increase your alertness, it can also increase your ability to produce force more quickly. It’s good for endurance, too.
  • Amino Acids like beta-alanine helps to fight muscle fatigue, while the effect of citrulline is to increase blood flow to your body’s tissues. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) may also improve endurance performance.

 

When you’re done

Post workout supplements may assist in speeding up recovery and enhancing muscle growth. We already mentioned BCAA above, but this can also aid in reducing fatigue and muscle soreness after weight training. Here’s some more vital nutrients:

  • Certain nutrients need to get to your body quickly after a workout, and whey protein is the fastest. It spikes muscle protein synthesis. When combined with casein, it keeps this process going for longer, aiding muscle growth.
  • Creatine absorption is spiked with some fast-acting carbs. Vigorous weight training depletes the muscle’s glycogen reserves, so the faster they can be replenished, the better.
  • Glutamine plays an important role in post-workout recovery, from supporting your immune system to preventing symptoms of overtraining such as lowered plasma glutamine levels.

Choosing the right supplements, when to take them and at what dosage depends on many variables.  Speak to your trainer or healthcare provider before taking any supplements. 

 

Photo: Vegan Liftz

 

Planet Fitness offers world-class facilities and equipment for your workouts at clubs
across South Africa. 
You can also visit Planet Shop online for your gear and supplements.