Tips for getting faster results from your workouts

By naturopath Margaret Jasinska

A healthy diet and lifestyle can help you achieve better fitness goals in a shorter period of time.  Making sure you get enough of the right nutrients in your diet can speed results too. Life is busy and exercise can be tiring. If you follow the correct strategies, you can achieve faster outcomes.

Improve your overall health and energy level

Healthy, energetic people want to move their bodies. Building up a good level of strength and fitness takes time and commitment. Once you have achieved greater fitness, exercise becomes much easier and more enjoyable.

Certain nutrients can help to boost your energy and enable you to work out to a higher intensity. Nutrients can also help with muscle recovery and enhanced performance. You’ll feel less sore and tired afterwards, making you want to work out more frequently. Being vitamin D deficient can weaken muscles. A lot of people don’t obtain sufficient sunshine to be able to manufacture enough vitamin D. Ask your doctor for a vitamin D blood test.

Optimal, easily digested protein is vital for healthy muscle function

Good sources of protein include seafood, red meat, eggs and poultry. Nuts, seeds and legumes provide smaller amounts of protein. The protein can be difficult to absorb for people with poor gut health. Whey protein powder shakes are a very useful way to incorporate easily digested protein into your diet. They can particularly help muscle recovery if you consume them after a workout. Your muscles are made of protein. Exercise causes tiny tears in your muscles. They heal and become larger. You need enough protein to provide building blocks for your muscles. An optimal protein intake is between 1 and 1.5 grams per kilo of ideal body weight.

Glutamine helps your muscle cells and your immune system. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It makes up approximately 50% of the free amino acids in muscle tissue. It plays a major role in muscle repair and maintenance. Your cells can also use glutamine as a source of energy, in a similar way to using glucose. Taking a glutamine supplement can help you work out harder and recover more quickly. Intense exercise can temporarily weaken the immune system and make you more prone to picking up an infection. Glutamine can be used by immune cells as a source of energy.

Magnesium can help to prevent muscle cramps. Exercise causes your body to use up more magnesium. Sweating causes even more magnesium loss. Magnesium is also required by the enzymes that generate energy in your body, and fatigue is a common manifestation of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium may help improve sleep quality, and sufficient sleep is important for exercise recovery.

Ultimate Muscle Food powder is a combination of glutamine, branched chain amino acids and HMB (Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate). This combination supports muscle mass in older people by reducing protein breakdown in the muscles. Muscle mass is greatest in our late 20s and early 30s and reduces around 1% per year thereafter.

The energy generating components in your cells are called mitochondria. The inner membrane of the mitochondria is very rich in fatty acids. These fats are fragile and easily undergo oxidative damage from free radicals. Air pollution, stress, sugar, alcohol, viral infections and diets lacking antioxidants may all promote oxidative damage. This can impair the health and function of your mitochondria, leaving you low on energy. Raw vegetable juices are a powerful way to boost your antioxidant intake. The antioxidants found in vegetables, fruit, tea, spices and coffee can all improve your exercise performance and recovery.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body, including in the muscles; they improve joint flexibility and speed up recovery from exercise or injury. Omega 3 fats are found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies. The precursor of these fats is found in some nuts and seeds.

Please remember to get adequate rest, relaxation and sleep. This is the time when your body repairs itself and your muscles grow bigger and stronger if you have exercised during the day.

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