Most people know that it is important to give your body the proper nutrition it needs but some might not realize the importance of what you eat before and after a workout is also important. When you fuel your workout with the proper nutrition you will help maximize the benefits of all your hard work during the workout.
Sticking to your plan to regularly hit the gym can be tough. It’s even tougher if you hate the gym where you work out.
Consciously choosing to endure the sweat and labor involved with getting into shape already takes enough willpower. Don’t make it even harder by having to steel yourself to make your daily trip to a place that blasts crappy music, smells like socks, or has jerks for fellow members.
Working out is a lot easier if you look forward to visiting your gym. Follow these tips for picking the right place to get your fitness on:
- Visit first – Take the time to visit a gym a few times before becoming a member. See if the trainer will give you a complimentary session so you can get a feel for everything the gym has to offer. If you have a friend who’s a member, see if they can take you there as a guest a few times so you can get a feel for the facility.
- The right spot – Pick a gym that’s convenient to your home or work. Getting to the gym on a regular basis is a lot easier if it’s not in an out-of-the way spot. Make sure that parking is convenient. Also, if you plan to work out in the evening hours, be sure that the gym is in a safe neighborhood.
- Explore options – What fitness options does the gym offer? Does it have yoga or MMA-style classes? How often can you work with a trainer? What type of exercise equipment does it have? Are childcare options available? Find a gym with options that appeal to you and your fitness goals.
- Check reviews – Take a look at the online reviews for the gym you’re considering. A few bad reviews are to be expected anywhere, but if a location has consistently bad reviews, it may be a red flag.
- Check the amenities – See if the gym you’re considering has convenient access to sports drinks and water, as well as healthy snacks like energy bars. Being able to refuel your body after a strenuous workout really helps.
- Check prices – Make sure you understand the pricing structure of your gym. Many gyms have low monthly fees, but then stick it to their members with a variety of annual or quarterly fees. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, be sure to get a clear picture of how gym membership will impact your finances.
- Understand the plan – Many a gym member has been burned by unreasonable gym membership contracts. You’re joining a gym, not selling your soul. Avoid gyms that lock you into long-term commitments, and be sure to understand how you can break your contract in case of a medical emergency or in the event you have to move to another city.
Signing up for a gym is just one step in your path to better fitness. Eating right is another important step. Promax Nutrition provides healthy energy bars and other snacks to help fitness enthusiasts get all-natural protein from vegetarian sources. Check out Promax Nutrition today to see all of the delicious protein bars and other natural, gluten free snacks that will help fuel your body after a workout.
How we view our bodies has a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. Men and women with a positive body image often enjoy better health, self-confidence, and emotional wellbeing than people who feel shame and disgust about their bodies.
Developing a positive body image doesn’t mean complacently accepting being out of shape, however. To develop a healthy body image, you must develop a healthy and realistic ideal of what a healthy body means for you and take steps to attain that goal. A healthy diet including fruits and veggies and protein bar supplements combined to a good fitness routine can help you accept the body you have by improving it.
- Practice positive affirmation – Find things that you like about yourself and focus on these things. Make a list of 10 positive attributes and recite them when you’re feeling down.
- Commit to healthy eating – Adopt a healthy diet and stick to it. This doesn’t mean adopting a ridiculous diet supermodels use to starve themselves. It means taking up a diet that provides the nutrition you need without going overboard on calories. Working with a trainer or nutritionist can help.
- Set an exercise plan – There’s nothing that succeeds like success. By setting and reaching realistic fitness milestones, you bolster your self-confidence by demonstrating your competence at achieving goals. While you may never have the body of an Olympic athlete, there are improvements and changes you can make to be healthier and fitter.
- Get rid of negative influences – Distance yourself from people who give you grief about your body. This doesn’t mean to take offense at everyone who invites you to the gym; it means weeding out toxic people who constantly and maliciously criticize your weight and appearance. Find positive individuals who encourage you to reach your fitness goals without snarky or hateful comments.
- Accept that bodies come in different shapes and sizes – Beauty is found in a variety of packages. Some of us are tall, some are short, and some are rail thin, while others have more ample bodies. The size or shape of a body doesn’t matter – the health of that body and the emotional wellbeing of its owner are what matters.
Today’s society promotes an unrealistic standard of attractiveness for both men and women, and this standard is harmful to all genders. A recent TODAY/AOL Body Image survey found that the only thing men worry about more than their appearance is their financial situation. The poll found that 53 percent of men are so concerned about their looks they don’t like to have their picture taken. Glamour found that 54 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies, and 80 percent say just taking a look in the mirror makes them unhappy.
Taking affirmative steps to embrace the body you’re in and improve it will drastically improve your life. Take action today to shed your old negative body image and replace it with a positive one.
Promax Nutrition helps men and women achieve their fitness goals with quality nutritional products. Promax offers healthy, vegetarian energy bars and other nutritious snacks that help people eat healthfully in order to build better bodies.
In some respects, working out is the easy part of getting fit. Sure, you have to make yourself get up off the couch and put in the work, but you feel good after a workout—both physically and mentally. Plus, there are so many different ways to workout, so you can find what’s right for your fitness level and the time you have to put in.
For some people, the dieting side of getting fit can be a little harder. Instead of pushing yourself to do something, you’re abstaining from some of the foods you’ve become used to, and replacing them with something different. This can be a hard cycle to break, and you’ll be constantly bombarded with fad diets that promise unrealistic results. This is especially true if you simply Google a generic term like “diets.” The internet is great for finding information, but sometimes the good stuff gets lost in the crowd. That’s why we’ve brought you some of the best diet blogs—so you can make the changes you need, and give your workouts the boost they deserve.
- First we have Roni’s Weigh, a blog from Veronica “Roni” Noone. On Roni’s Weigh she discusses her own personal transformation—losing over 70 pounds—as well as tips on how to keep your whole family active, fit, and healthy.
- Josie Maurer, of com fame, started her blog like many others. It began as a journal tracking her own weight loss journey in order to keep her accountable, and has blossomed into a funny and insightful blog that offers tips on what to do to lose weight, as well as what not to do. Her loyal fans enjoy the humor and personality that come through in her writing.
- The Domestic Man is the work of Russ Crandall, a writer for Food and Wine and AOL.com’s Kitchen Daily. His blog promises paleo-friendly recipes inspired by traditional and international cuisines. And did we mention gluten-free? He updates the site with new recipes every Tuesday.
- The Stone Soup adds a very important element to making delicious and healthy meals—simplicity. Most of their recipes have five ingredients or fewer, making them attainable for beginners looking for an efficient and nutritious meal.
With so many fantastic diet blogs out there, there really is something for everyone. Losing weight is so much easier if you don’t feel like you’re going it alone, and even the healthiest among us can always do with a new recipe or two. And after you’re done gaining inspiration from these blogs, head over to www.promaxnutrition.com to pick up some protein bars or check out our own blog—it’s full of the inspiration and information you need to transform your body.
Let’s start out by saying this: Everyone has a baseline of maintenance calories that they need to just exist and stay the same weight. If you’re 200 pounds and your needed maintenance calories are 2,500, you have to create a surplus in order to gain weight. If you want to “get big,” you need to eat more than 2,500 calories: a surplus.
The differences lie in how many calories of surplus you create.
There are two ways to do this: clean bulking and dirty bulking.
Clean bulking involves a small surplus, like 100 calories extra a day or 15 percent over your maintenance requirement while continuing to meet your macros. This gradual pace will minimize gains in body fat while helping you put on one to two pounds per month. While you’re going to put on fat while bulking no matter what, if you want to stay as lean as possible while adding fat and muscle, go for clean bulking
Dirty bulking is taking in a much larger calorie surplus, usually without tracking macros, following a set diet, or doing cardio. This is done without regard to fat. Do this if you want to fill out but do not really care about the rate or ratio of fat to muscle you’re putting on.
You might now be asking yourself: why would anyone dirty bulk? Well, the basic premise is this: the more you eat, the bigger you’ll get. This is true, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get more muscular. People don’t realize that the body can’t build unlimited muscle in a set amount of time. In fact, it’s impossible for someone who’s been training regularly to gain 30-40 pounds of muscle in a few months or even a year. The only people who can gain even 18-20 pounds in a year is someone totally new to the gym, lifting weights, and training.
Why should I clean bulk instead of dirty bulk?
- The body can only build a set amount of lean muscle over a period of time. This isn’t a “more = better” equation; past what the body can do naturally, you can’t speed up the process any significant degree by doing it more. Any extra calories that you eat are just going to be stored in the body as fat.
- Dirty bulking can slow down your entire fitness process. It happens often: a skinny guy will want to get bigger and decide he doesn’t care about gaining excess fat. He bulks up by chowing down on Big Macs, brownies, and pasta with no regard to his macros. After a few months into his smorgasbord, he wakes up and realizes that he’s not happy with his body. He hasn’t come close to his lean ideal, but now he has the added problem of carrying around extra fat (usually in the stomach). Now our guy has two options: he can keep bulking and gain even more fat, or he can start cutting—which essentially puts him back at square one. For every pound or two of body fat you gain, that’s about a week of dieting and cardio.
- You’ll feel better overall. You’ll function better, have more energy, and reduce your risks of heart disease. Eating when you aren’t hungry and stuffing yourself when you are is a recipe for feeling bloated, tired, and sluggish. Clean bulking, on the other hand, integrates cardio sessions throughout the week to leave you feeling energized.
Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I clean bulk?
Aim to eat about 15 percent more calories than you need to maintain your current weight. This is enough to build new muscle near your maximum potential but will keep fat gains at bay.
While you’re clean bulking, eat within your macros. Be sure to consume plenty of carbs, proteins, and limited amounts of fat. The meals should be very similar to what you ate while shredding, but in slightly more abundant quantities. We especially love the Promax Pro Series bars for when you need energy for a big cardio session.
Ever get that feeling you’re not full after you eat a meal or a mid-day snack? You know you ate enough, but you still have a craving for more. The truth is, some foods don’t keep you as full as others, and not feeling full and satisfied can lead to overgrazing and snacking too much. To combat that hungry feeling, we’ve gathered up a list of different foods that will leave you satisfied and full for hours.
Like apples, pears are a great snack to munch on, especially when it comes to keeping you full. Their fiber content does wonders for that hungry feeling. But pears don’t just keep you full, they have many other health benefits—they are packed full of vitamins B2, C, and E. Being high in vitamin C and copper, they help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals in the body, which helps to prevent cancer. As a bonus, the fiber in a pear is water soluble, so it helps keep the sugar levels in the body regular.
This one sounds strange at first – but have you noticed whenever you chew mint flavored gum or a peppermint, that your hungry feeling goes away? That’s because mint acts as an appetite suppressant, making you feel less hungry. But there are many more benefits to mint than just that. If your stomach feels off and you’re having digestion problems, drinking something infused with mint will help to soothe your stomach and promote proper digestion. Plus, by consuming mint in your diet, you’re revving up your digestive enzymes so you’ll be burning more fat – which in turn will help keep the weight off.
Chia seeds are the newest diet celebrity, and they should be, considering it’s been said they’re one of the best ways to suppress hunger. How? Chia seeds swell up in your stomach with liquid! They also contain high amounts of calcium, potassium, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals that contribute to bone health. And they can even help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study that showed decreasing rates of blood pressure and inflammation with chia seed consumption.
It’s time to swap out your favorite sugary cereal in the morning and opt for this filling, high-fiber breakfast food. If you feel sluggish in the mornings and want a boost of energy, oatmeal can fix that; since it’s high in protein and carbohydrates, you will get calories and energy in return, keeping you motivated during your busy work day or killer work out. You don’t have to eat oatmeal to gain all of its power, consider taking an oatmeal bath to soothe your skin and balance your skin’s pH level.
Of course nuts are on this list; their power to keep you full has been widely known for years, but don’t skim over their incredible health benefits. Nuts lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) so your chance of heart disease will decrease, plus they also prevent blood clots so your chance of a heart attack is lowered, too. Diabetes can be prevented by eating nuts as well, because fiber helps to prevent it.
The protein in hummus doesn’t just help to curb your appetite, but it promotes bone, muscle, skin, and blood health as well. If you’re having trouble keeping your digestive tract regular, it may be time for you to begin eating this delicious snack, since the fiber in hummus helps keep you regular. One unique factor of hummus is that it helps to relieve anemia in those who have it, because chickpeas are packed full of iron, so oxygen gets delivered to red blood cells.
Of course, for the ultimate on the go fix for that hungry feeling, our Promax protein bars are the perfect solution. From our original, lower sugar, and pro series bars to all the different flavors we have, you’ll be sure to find the one to satisfy your appetite. The protein and fiber in our bars keep you full and energized, plus they’re packed with so many vitamins and minerals, you’ll know you’re doing something good for your health at the same time you’re enjoying your snack.
For more information nutrition tips, be sure to come back to the Promax Nutrition blog each week.
If you walk into a gym you’re more than like to see different athletes pull out things from their gym bags that make it look more like a first aid kit—gauze, compression bands, medical tape, ice packs and more. And while you may be surrounded by weights and machines and not surgical equipment, it’s important to keep in mind that along with training comes the risk of injury.
What’s the most common cause of injury?
The most common cause of a sports injury is from training too much. Sounds too simple, right? It’s not. Overtraining can put unnecessary pressure on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, causing serious pain and delaying or even derailing your training.
What are the most common sports injuries?
-Achilles tendon injuries
-Sprains and strains
-Rotator cuff injuries
If I get injured what can I do?
When you get injured one of the first things you can do is stop and assess the injury. If you feel pain—not discomfort, but pain, stop and assess. Many athletes follow the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If doing these things doesn’t do anything to alleviate your pain then it is a good idea to go to a doctor or physical therapist to seek further instruction on what you can do to allow your body to heal. Remember that if you continue training while injured, you can make the injury even worse, so get the problem checked out as soon as you can.
There’s more you can do!
Besides taking care of yourself physically and making sure that you care appropriately for the injured area of your body, you can also take notice of what is going into your body. Proper nutrition is an important component of training that not only helps to prevent injury but also helps in recovering from injuries as well.
What should I focus on?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: protein and carbohydrates are essential to your training. Thus, they are also crucial to pay attention to when you have an injury.
When it comes to protein, you can eat either animal-based or plant-based proteins. Whey protein powder is from animal protein, but you can also take the time to cook up chicken or fish. The most accessible vegetable-based protein to consume is soy protein, but you can also get a small amount of protein from rice and beans (though not as much as soy, as they don’t have as many amino acids). The amino acids in proteins will help to your muscles begin to repair themselves. Eating carbohydrates will help to replace the glycogen that we used during our workout, which will help get our energy back up.
Carbohydrates are more important for the prevention of injuries, as they help give you the energy you need to train as hard as you do, while protein is most important when it comes to recovery and healing. We know that it can be hard to feel like you have time to fit in the proper nutrition, especially if you need to add physical therapy and icing to your routine. Take the time to plan out your nutrition if you can and if you don’t have time, grab a protein shake or a well-engineered protein bar to keep you fueled.
Don’t Forget the H20
Often when we’re training, we get so involved into our routines and nutrition intake, that we forget about one of the most important things we need: water. Hydration is an extremely important piece of the workout puzzle. Water helps our kidneys to function well and to filter the waste out of system. It also contributes to the wellness of other systems in our bodies, like our digestive system. When we lack water, our bodies let us know. Drink the recommended amount each day and to protect yourself against injury and recover further, drink even more than that.
Take care of yourself
We’ve laid out the injury basics for you, but before we go, we wanted to remind you: listen to your body. We’re all for training hard, but listen to what your body is telling you. Make sure you get the proper nutrition along the way to both prevent injury and help with recovery. If you have more questions about fitness and nutrition, feel free to take a look at our blog or reach out to us directly here at PROMAX.
We work hard and our days are long. We wake up, spend hours at work and at the end of the day we’re exhausted. We make time for our friends and families when we can and it’s hard enough to make time for our workouts and training sessions. But we do. So what else are we forgetting? Nutrition. There’s more to it than what to do to fuel your body before a workout; we need to start remembering to take care of our bodies after our workouts, too. We know you understand why nutrition is important, but now we want to stress why post-workout nutrition is, also.
“But I Ate Before Training.”
Eating before your workout is great, and essential. Our bodies need the energy that food provides to push ourselves through our routines. But guess what happens to that fuel? We burn right through it.
During our workouts, our bodies are breaking down both protein and carbohydrates as our muscles work and we push ourselves harder and harder. And as difficult as it is when we’re tired post-workout, it’s important to replace what we’ve spent so our bodies have the opportunity to recover. How do we do that? Post-workout nutrition.
Where do I Start?
You’ll hear a lot about carb to protein ratios here and things may seem to get a bit complicated. So, let’s just start with the basics.
We know that some of you are thinking that eating carbs after a workout may defeat its purpose, but it’s quite the contrary. When you work out, you use glycogen which is what your muscles use for energy, which in turn, allows them to contract and do all the work they do.
When you’re training, although you may be working to build muscle, you are actually breaking it down. While the ingestion of carbs post-workout helps with energy stores—and so does protein—the main reason we eat protein is to take care of and repair our muscles. Will you still be sore after your workout? Probably (if you worked hard enough). But the important thing is to remember that you’re recovering, preventing injury, and preparing for your next workout.
How can I get it?
Luckily for us, living in the 21st century no longer requires us to forage for our food, or hunt, for that matter, and so we’ve done the searching for you. There are several different ways to make sure you get your carbs and protein in post-workout and depending on how much or little time you have, you’ve got options.
Because most of us are nearly too busy to fit in a workout, the next thing we have time to fit in is cooking an actual meal. And while we wish we could, liquid shakes are an option to get nutrition to your body directly after a workout so that you can begin refueling and recovering instantly. Protein powders are easy to find in most supermarkets and nutrition stores and will give you bang for your buck as they’ll last you many workouts. Because they can be stored in dry environments, they are easy to keep in your car, at your desk, or in your pantry at home, but beware, they can get a little messy on the go if they leak. One scoop with water (or milk depending on the brand you use) is all you need. Scoop, mix, and enjoy.
While time is an issue, so is space and storage. Who wants to keep a meal they’ve cooked in an unrefrigerated gym locker? That could get a little gross. Instead, a lot of people are opting to throw a protein bar in their gym bag, briefcase, or purse these days. No matter where you’re going after the gym, the bars are the perfect quick and efficient way to get the nutrients you need. Promax even makes sure that the recommended ratio (that you shouldn’t have to calculate) is made for you, so instead of doing the math, you can enjoy the taste. If you’re having trouble choosing a bar, we can help you decide based on what’s most crucial to you.
No, we aren’t kidding. While bars and liquids are efficient and sufficient, nothing is better than whole foods. Whether you take the time one day a week to prepare a dish in bulk or take an hour one day on the weekend after a workout, it’s nice to treat your body and your mind to a good, nutrient rich, sit down meal.
Make it a Habit
It’s difficult to make good nutrition a habit, but if you’re reading this article then you’re well on your way. Remember, if you were able to incorporate an exercise plan into your schedule, then you can surely incorporate a nutrition plan, too. Enjoy your workouts, and after, remember to think proteins and carbs to replenish, recovery, and refuel.
For more information nutrition tips, be sure to come back to the Promax Nutrition blog each week .
Generations of American men and women grew up using the food pyramid to help guide their nutritional choices. Times change and so does our knowledge about nutrition and the best ways to encourage healthy eating. As a result, now there’s a simpler way to make healthy meal choices about fruits, vegetables, protein bars, soft drinks, and much more.
MyPlate is a new icon used to help encourage people to make healthier choices about what they eat at meal time. Available at ChooseMyPlate.com, this icon provides a simple, easy-to-understand method for ensuring Americans get a balanced diet. By using this simple icon, men and women get a quick guide to what they should be eating and what they should scale back on consuming.
The MyPlate icon divides a dish into four sections, with each section representing grains, vegetables, protein and fruits. The sections are sized proportionally to the suggested amount of each food group. Information on either side of the plate suggests foods and portion sizes from these groups. In addition to the plate, an illustration of a drinking glass also suggests what and how much to drink.
The icon has been tweaked a bit since being introduced in 2011, but it provides a more streamlined and accessible means than the food pyramid (introduced in 1992) of making food selections. The MyPlate icon also provides updated information about nutrition.
The old food pyramid advised 6-11 servings of grains, two to three servings of dairy, and two to three servings of meat per day. Modern nutritional research has found that a more vegetable-dependent diet is a healthier choice.
In terms of nutritional advice, the MyPlate icon advises eating more vegetables, making them the base of the American diet. Protein remains important, but Americans are urged to reduce consumption of red meat. MyPlate also encourages sensible amounts of milk, but advises against drinking large amounts.
Obesity is a major public health problem in America, as inactivity and unhealthy eating habits have caused obesity rates to skyrocket. According to the American Heart Association, more than 154 million Americans are obese. The next generation is well on its way to having similar struggles with obesity, as health officials estimate that more than 30 percent of children are obese. Habits contributing to obesity are tough to break, so getting children to eat healthfully early in life will help them avoid becoming obese as adults.
Obesity causes many serious and expensive health problems, so fighting obesity is an important public health priority. By providing a more accessible guide to meal choices, public health experts hope that Americans will make healthier, better informed choices regarding meals. Reducing obesity rates will help reduce rates of other serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, among others.
Promax gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian snack bars. To learn more about Promax products, visit our product page or our blog.
In 1996 I was a young trainer in New York City. I lived on the Upper West Side and would pass by a Vitamin Shoppe everyday on my way to and from the fancy fitness center where I trained by clients.
At that time, protein bars were a brand new concept. Can you imagine? It’s so weird to look back now; I’ll never forget the first time a client showed me this new bar that she found that had protein in it. “It’s like a delicious candy bar with protein, and it’s good for you!”
I was enthralled. That night on my way home from work I stopped in to my Vitamin Shoppe to check out the most exciting thing to happen in the fitness industry since Rollerblades. The store clerk had to lead me to the section of protein bars. As I recall there were maybe three brands at the time. “Nutty Butter Crisp” screamed: “Holly! Holly! I was made just for you! And thus began my love of Promax bars.
As the years rolled on, the bars rolled out. It seemed as though every time I turned around a new bar was appearing. Omg, this was beyond exciting. It was like, 42 different kinds of candy bars with protein! I tried them all. I have always considered myself a guinea pig for my clients and like to test out every diet, every workout, and every new food item on myself to determine if it’s worthy of using with my esteemed clients.
The low carb trend continued and more and more bars were being formulated to match consumer’s dietary preferences. In theory this approach was great. It allowed people a high protein snack that wasn’t overloaded with unnecessary sugar. Very quickly I discovered a problem. Low carb bars are great for times in between meals, as meal replacements, or anytime away from a workout. Around workouts, these bars were disaster.
The human body runs on fuel. That fuel is mixture of carbohydrates (glucose) and fats. The percentage of each changes throughout the day for a variety of reasons. The biggest shift occurs during and around workouts when your muscles need carbohydrates to function. In fact, this is a critical time when your body really needs carbohydrates and protein.
A few years ago I was utterly confused why a nutrition company hadn’t released a bar truly designed for activity. This “dream bar” that I had conjured up in my head would have a close ratio of easily digested, non-soy protein, and some kind of simple sugar. See, workouts are the one time during the day when “sugar” is actually very beneficial. This bar would also have very little fat, and nearly no fiber. Both of these slow digestion, therefore causing digestive upset. The bar would have a limited number of ingredients without gluten, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. Oh, it has to taste delicious. It needed to remind me of a candy bar with protein.
Long story, longer, the stars aligned last year and I teamed up with Promax Nutrition to create this dream bar. And let me tell you, a dream bar, it is.
I am so beyond excited to tell you that Promax Nutrition is launching the perfect bar for use around workouts on August 19th! I will go as far as to say that the new Pro Series bar from Promax is the absolute perfect fuel around workouts. Yes, even better than real food.
I know a good thing when I see it. When I do, I specifically step back and say: “This product is great. But don’t listen to me; Try it out for yourself and see.”
Once again I am enthralled. I am so happy to introduce you to the new Promax Pro Series bar.