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7 Foods You Should Not Eat After A Workout

7 Foods You Should Not Eat After A Workout

Staying in shape isn’t all about hitting the gym on a regular basis. That’s only half the battle. In order to keep yourself lean, you must combine cardio and weight training with a balanced, nutritious, and healthy diet. Your exercise and your diet must work in conjunction with one another, as there are certain foods that should be consumed prior to working out that will help give you the energy and focus necessary to get through it. Of course, there are also certain foods that you should avoid after your daily workout so that you don’t ruin all the hard work you put in at the gym.

Here are seven foods you should not eat after a workout:

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1. Salty Processed Foods

It’s common to crave something salty after your workout, as your sweat not only deprives your body of water, but certain nutrients (including potassium) as well. Opting for a healthy meal can replenish your potassium level quickly and naturally, doing so without high calorie snacks. Bananas, which are known for having high amounts of potassium, are your best option, but any kind of dry fruit would be a preferable alternative to salty snacks.

2. Sugary Meals and Drinks

Drinking soda or other sugary drinks is the worst mistake you can make after a workout. Sugar slows down your metabolism, and a slower metabolism will make it that much harder for you to slim down and get the lean body you want. It’s important to read labels before you consume, as some products may have more sugar in them than you think. In addition to the sugar in them, sodas also cause bloating, which is the opposite of what you’re looking for after working out. If water or natural fruit juice aren’t available after your workout, your best bet is unsweetened iced tea, which will keep you hydrated and calm your sugar cravings.

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3. Fast Foods

It may seem obvious, but fast foods, fatty snacks, and oily foods should all be avoided after a workout. Your primary goal is to reduce the overall amount of fat, and consuming those foods will make it harder to do so; and that’s in addition to raising your cholesterol, which puts you at risk of heart disease. Moreover, fatty foods interfere with your body’s ability to produce glycogen (an important substance that’s produced and stored in the muscles and liver), an unhealthy by-product in addition to ruining the hard work you put in at the gym.

4. Raw Veggies

While raw fruits and vegetables should be a part of your diet, you shouldn’t focus exclusively on them, nor should you consume them immediately after a workout. Raw vegetables will not supplement the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you lost during your workout. Instead, you need to consume protein after your workout in order to support muscle development.

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5. Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate does have some benefits, as it can improve your memory and cognitive function. However, any chocolate you eat should be consumed before your workout so that you can burn up the extra calories while also indulging your sweet tooth. Eating chocolate after a workout will not help you to replenish the nutrients lost while exercising.

6. Pastries

Although your body needs high-quality carbohydrates after working out and pastries are full of carbs, they are not a healthy and reliable source of nutrients. Whole-wheat toast or dry fruits are better options than pastries or donuts, which should be avoided at all costs.

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7. Energy Bars

Energy bars are designed for pre-workout consumption only; they will boost your energy, which you need before your workout, not afterwards. These bars are filled with sugar, which decreases your metabolism and stimulates fat production. Once your workout is over, energy bars will do more harm than good.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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