Don’t underestimate the berries in your fridge. Most just think of them as healthy snacks but they are power players when it comes to bodybuilding. Although small, they pack the nutritional punch needed to build strong muscles (and become an overall powerhouse!). Let’s discuss.
Quick Source of Energy Before or After a Workout
Berries are simple carbohydrates meaning the sugar molecules are simply structured. This means digestion occurs rather quickly. Their fast digestion rate makes them go-to sources of energy either right before a workout when in need of a quick energy boost or after when glycogen stores must be replenished. Despite falling into the category of simple carbohydrates, they are complex in nature because fiber accompanies the simple sugars.
Improved Physical Performance
Darker berries like blackberries and blueberries contain quercetin, a plant polyphenol believed to enhance endurance and athletic performance by improving cell’s energy function. The result is a considerable increase in energy similar to the one caffeine provides.
Aids in Healing and Recovery
The vitamin C found in berries improves workout recovery by lowering cortisol levels post workout. Although the stress hormone has its positives when it comes to bodybuilding, you want to ensure levels don’t remain high too long after an intense workout since it is a catabolic hormone secreted in the adrenal gland.
Helps Prevent Muscle Fatigue
Berries contain nitric-oxide boosting nitrates that improves blood and oxygen flow in the body. Research has shown this to have a positive impact on blood flow and oxygen to muscles which is essential in preventing muscle fatigue allowing you to train longer. The positive impact lengthier training sessions will have on gains over time is obvious.
Protects Lean Mass
The antioxidants in berries protect muscles from cell damage that occurs as a result of exercise-induced inflammation. Increasing your consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits like blueberries, cranberries, and goji berries will effectively protect the muscle mass you worked so hard for.
How to Add Berries to Your Diet
The easiest ways to reap the bodybuilding nutritional benefits of berries is including them in your meals as well as your post-workout snack. Blending a serving into a post workout protein shake or smoothie is super convenient and ensures all their nutrients are absorbed as quickly as possible. Although consuming fresh berries is far more enjoyable, there are super concentrated berry powders that can be added to water, juice, oatmeal or yogurt to up your antioxidant intake.
Be strong. Be the Berry.
The Berry Godmother – your source for everything Berry!