A healthy diet and fitness routine is designed to limit sugar intake, which is why fruit, and the natural sugars that come with it, tend to be left out of such a diet. But if you can choose your moments wisely, along with the right fruits, you may be able to push your results along quite nicely.
Here is why and how fruit can be very beneficial as a healthy addition to your fitness routine, but first, let’s have a look at why fruit tends to be avoided by health-conscious individuals.
The Problem with Fruit and Fructose
Not all sugars are the same and fruit contains fructose, which cannot be converted by muscles into energy. Only the liver can deal with fructose, converting it into glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrate.
When the liver’s glycogen levels are maxed out, fructose then gets stored as fat, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid. But since we have no way of knowing what our liver glycogen levels are, we find ourselves avoiding healthy fruits entirely when trying to stay fit and healthy.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Try adding fruit to your fitness program in a very specialized way.
The morning is the best time to have fruit to replace the glycogen levels depleted by your liver overnight. When glycogen levels get too low, the body begins to break down muscle, so by adding fruit to your morning diet, you can help to save the muscle you have. Try adding fruits like pineapple, honeydew, oranges, and bananas to the start of your day.
By fueling up on fruit about an hour before a workout, you can replenish some of the glycogen burned off throughout the day. This allows muscles to get the glucose they need during the workout, limiting muscle fatigue, as the glycogen stored in the muscles is retained while exercising.
You can give your body a boost with a pear, an apple, or some watermelon, cantaloupe, or grapes. You might also enjoy a bunch of strawberries or raspberries.
After a workout is a great time to enjoy fruit. It can re-establish your liver and muscle glycogen levels. But a serving of fruit amounts to about 15 grams of carbs to boost your energy levels. So if you’re looking at enhancing your muscle mass, you will need to add more energy in the form of other high-carb foods, like potatoes or rice.
Some fruits you might like after a workout include those that were previously mentioned, and you can add cherries or peaches to the list of choices.
Fruits do more than just restore liver glycogen. Many fruits can produce health benefits that we haven’t talked about. Try grapefruit for weight management. Go with oranges to soak of some vitamin-C. Apples can increase strength and reduce fat.
Whole fruits should be a key component of your health and fitness regimen, especially when handled the right way.