Looking to improve your workout endurance? How about helping your muscles recover faster after lifting weights? What about filling your body with nutrients after a good sweat? No matter if you are a serious athlete, or are just beginning to exercise, chances are you are looking for a way to achieve all these things. Blueberries to the rescue!
One important way that blueberries can positively impact your workout is a result of their water content. As with most types of fruits, blueberries contain high amounts of water. This not only helps prevent feelings of thirst (and eliminating the excuse of going to the water fountain instead of doing another set) but also is important in enhancing athletic performance. Without enough water in your system, you can experience cramps, fatigue, and reduced motivation.
It is essential to ensure the body is hydrated when exercising, and blueberries aid this process through their ability to provide your body with water. Aside from fat and bone, our bodies are composed almost primarily from water. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we require high amounts of fluid in our bodies in order to achieve optimal results when exercising.
A second way that blueberries can positively impact your workout is due to their high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates are important for exercising because they provide the body with the energy needed to sustain a workout. That said, it’s very important to understand that not all carbohydrates are created equally.
Simple carbohydrates such white bread, baked goods or Gatorade all give the body a quick burst of energy but are quickly digested and leave your body in a hurry. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, such as those found in blueberries (as well as other fruits and vegetables) are slow digesting, and therefore stay in your system for longer period of time.
This distinction is particularly important if you are an endurance athlete or are trying to build muscle. You can eat a meal high in complex carbohydrates, such as blueberries, an hour or two before your workout be sure that the carbohydrates will still be active in your system during the workout. A study done on endurance athletes demonstrated that daily blueberry consumption helped reduce oxidative stress and inflammation compared to a control group.
Lastly, Blueberries contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals that are critical for good health and optimal growth but are also important for improved athletic performance. As your body burns through minerals during workout blueberries are a great post workout way to replenish your system.
Blueberries are great in smoothies, with yogurt, or simply to eat on their own.