Chocolate, Beer or the Kebab are not usually foodstuffs that fitness fanatics like to talk about, but that said, it does not mean that you can’t eat or drink the good stuff in moderation! It’s important, both physically and psychologically that you maintain a well-balanced diet. It’s a rudimentary element of your fitness / bodybuilding process. This is where the treat comes into play.
This article will explain the importance – both psychological and physical – of the treat in terms of successful fitness dieting. It must also be noted that this article is not advocating a lifestyle of Macca D’s followed by sessions down the gym. The treat is something that you can either have after a workout or at the end of a week. It’s a positive mental focus that also includes nutrients which are good and a requirement for a healthy macro/micronutrient intake.
So lets look at four important treats:
#1 – Chocolate
Chocolate for many years, through mountains of suspiciously well-funded research, which has seen Nestle even fund one University to conduct research into the role of chocolate and a healthy lifestyle. If we put our suspiciousness to one-side, and focus on the science, we can discover that chocolate, in moderate amounts, especially dark chocolate, will help the human body tackle heart disease and help lower the body’s blood pressure. Further research, conducted by the University of California, has found that small doses of chocolate can help repair the capillaries as well as maintain a healthy biomechanical structure.
So if you are thinking that the Yorkie bar that’s eye you up in the shop after the run is a bad idea, think again!
#2 – Beer
Research conducted by the University of Granada in Spain has found that beer rehydrates the body better after a workout than water or Lucozade. The presence of barley in beer means it has properties which can help in the recovery process after undertaking strenuous activities. However, before you run down to the corner shop after your run to grab the six pack of Fosters on offer, you need to understand that this was in response to hydration in cellular terms. The participants who undertook the testing was split into two one drinking beer the other water.
The water participants were able to continue their day without a problem. The beer drinkers, well, they had to go home to bed! What the research did discover was that a couple of pints on a regular basis can better help your barley intake and that’s a good thing.
#3 – Red Wine
Researchers at San DiegoUniversity found that Resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine, which mimics the body’s reaction to exercising. It should be noted before you burn your running shoes, melt down your dumbbells and barbells and sue your gym provider that, like always, there are caveats. The research found that to consume the right level of Resveratrol you would need to drink around ¾ of a bottle of red wine and then exercise!
Most people, after consuming that much wine, wouldn’t think of going to the gym. So what the research found was a glass of wine in moderation, once a day even, can help boost your resveratrol intake which will help increase your workout performance.
#4 – Pizza, Fries and a Burger
Research conducted by sports scientists in Sydney have found that ‘cheat days’ – days you give up working out in favour of a slacking-off period perhaps eat a burger and chips with a glass of beer whilst watching A-Team re-runs – are a great bodily aid to successful workouts.
These sports science boffins have found that one ‘cheat day’ a week along with six days of 1hour workout activity with a healthy diet is far more successful than avoiding the ‘cheat day’ and working out 1hr 30mins+ a day seven days a week. So there you have it – take a day off and treat yourself.
These four treats are all about moderation. However, they are more about your ‘cheat days’ or your day off from working out. By focusing on your day off to watch the football (or American Football depending on were you are in the world?) with a burger and a pint your body is getting the good stuff from the bad stuff. If you have been going to the gym three times a week and jogging on the roads twice a week and eating healthy and getting solid sleep. Then your body will be keeping healthy and fit which means one day off a week – in moderation – will be nothing but a psychological boost and a great day off!