So you plan to build up a little muscle mass. Naturally, the first thing you will reach for is protein-rich foods like meat, of course. Fruits will be at the very end of your list. However, they are just as important. Fruits contain essential molecules like vitamins and minerals which play a great role in our metabolisms. For example, potassium will help you build muscle mass, carbohydrates will provide the necessary fuel for a workout, and the antioxidants will prevent cell damage.
Potassium for strong muscles
The major role of potassium, a mineral by composition, is to promote electrolyte balance. It is not the direct cause of muscle growth, but it plays a very important role. You need adequate amounts of potassium in your diet so your muscles can grow. For example, an average adult needs almost 5 thousand milligrams of potassium every day. And fruits are an excellent source of it. The best fruits to keep your potassium levels high are bananas, oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe and dried apricots.
These high-energy compounds are a great way to keep your body energized while working out. If your body lacks the sufficient levels of energy needed to endure the physical activity, it will resort to burning protein. It essentially means you will be eating yourself from the inside out. So, if you are heading toward muscle growth and you are training at least twice a week, the recommendation is to provide sufficient energy from carbohydrates: at least 50% of calories should come from carbs. The best fruits for a high carb content are grapes, pears, cherries, pineapple, dates.
Tough workouts are a severe burden for your body. Exercise causes a whole chain of events in your metabolism, which, over time, leads to free radicals appearing. The natural way to fight free radicals are antioxidants, a compound which helps our cells rebuild themselves and remove the damage done by free radicals. You could, of course, consider supplements, but we always advise for natural ways. It is always best to get all the key ingredients you need straight from food. The most common antioxidant found in fruit are vitamin C, flavonoids and carotenoids. The fruits which will ensure a high antioxidant count are grapefruits, apples, mangoes, and berries.
Incorporate fruit into your diet
There is no absolute rule that you have to follow here. Your job is to ensure that you get enough of the potassium and antioxidants from fruit and how will you do this, it is completely up to you. We can recommend some ways that we believe are the best to get all the nutritional benefits from fruit.
Instead of a desert, have some fruit, a sweet ending. Then, munch up a fruit after a workout, to bring back the sugar level and have a great post-workout snack. You can also mix up some yogurt and fruit for a refreshing dessert. You can’t go wrong with fruit.