For a long time fruit has sometimes been given a bad name. Many people have actually avoided fruit due to high sugar levels or carbohydrate counts without knowing the complete nutritional profile. Some key benefits of fruit can include antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Fruit does in fact have a higher carbohydrate count. Structuring when you eat certain types of fruits at specifcic times of the day can make a great difference in your health and weight loss goals.
Fruit first thing in AM
During the night the liver can deplete the glycogen levels of the body. This means that the glucose which our brain needs to run is used up and the body will start converting amino acids to glucose for the brain. This basically means the body starts to use muscle to feed itself. Fruit is a great choice to replenish this much needed glycogen and stave off the muscle eating.
Choose fruit like pineapple (1 cup), honeydew melon (1 cup), and banana (1 medium). These fruits may also add much needed potassium that the body also needs.
Whether you’re working or playing, the body eats up much of the glycogen that it needs to continue to run during the day. Eating fruit pre-workout can increase the amount of fructose that the body can use to replace glycogen to give the body a boost.
This is exceptionally helpful if you have not eaten a high carbohydrate meal in the hours prior to your workout. These fruit will increase the levels of free glycogen to be used during your workout and aids the body in maintaining glycogen levels. This can also decrease muscle fatigue during the workout.
Consume fruit that are higher in fructose like pears (1 medium), watermelon (1 cup), and apples (1 medium).
During a good workout your muscles will eat up much of the glycogen in your liver. You will want to intake a good amount of carbohydrates post-workout in order to replenish these glycogen levels. Fruit is a tremendous source of carbohydrates for post-workout meals.
Two servings of fruit can equal around 20 – 30 grams of carbohydrates. Taking in these carbohydrates along with 20-30 grams of a good quality protein like whey can help retain progress and increase the likelihood of keeping the muscle gained during the workout.
Choosing fruit like cherries (1 cup), grapes (1 cup), raspberries (2 cups) and strawberries (2 cups) are great for glycogen levels.
Besides their benefits on glycogen levels, fruit can aid in many other areas of your wellness journey. Each fruit has unique benefits to add to the whole package.
Benefits of grapefruit include increased weight loss.
Not only do oranges have high levels of vitamin C, but they aide the body in protecting levels of NO (nitric oxide) that can be damaged or broken down by free radicals.
Cherries have been known to help decrease levels of inflammation due to physical stress as well as the ability to enhance the speed at which the body recovers.
Due to the polyphenols in apples, they have been found to help increase strength and aid in fat loss.
Watermelons have high levels of citrulline. Citrulline is known for its abilities to aid in blood flow and nutrient delivery in the blood. This happens during the conversion of citrulline into arginine and NO.
Some of the other benefits of consuming fruit on a regular basis include reducing the risk of stroke and some other cardiovascular diseases. There are some studies that show a decrease in the risk of type II diabetes. Besides these benefits there are phytochemicals that aid the body in fighting certain cancers as well as help protect the body against many other health concerns.
For those of us that are on our fitness journey and afraid to eat certain foods the fact that consuming fruit can be very helpful as well as help in your journey is good news. Fruit not only contain great amounts of glycogen that will be depleted throughout the day and during an intense workout, but many nutrients that can aid the body in protecting itself against many forms of disease and damage. Taking in a few servings of fruit a day can dramatically change the way that your body reacts to training and can help you achieve your goals.