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By: Obi Obadike
The first tip I would give is to eliminate junk food. Most fast food and processed foods contain a high amount of fat, sodium and sugar. Also, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Always make sure you are hydrated, don't just drink water when you are thirsty. The third tip is to determine your daily protein requirements. Small amounts of protein should be available to your muscle tissue throughout the day for optimal growth and recovery. Proteins that include the essential amino acids that your body does not produce are really integral for optimal muscle growth.
The fourth tip is to consume high fiber foods which help with digestive efficiency. This also reduces cholesterol and lowers the glycemic response of your meals. And the last tip is to increase your lean body weight through weight training. The more lean body weight you have the higher your metabolism becomes. Bigger muscles typically burn more calories than little ones. Resistance training will also improve your bone density and strengthen muscles as well as ligaments. You will burn more calories throughout the day with resistance training.
The two things that I would say to avoid are alcohol and nicotine. First of all small amounts of alcohol have been shown to increase muscular endurance and also increase your strength but unfortunately the benefits to this are short lived. The negative effects of high consumption of alcohol outweigh any possible positive benefits. Some of the physical abnormalities that are associated with long term usage of alcohol are reduced strength, reduced endurance, reduced recovery capabilities, reduced aerobic capacity, and the inability to metabolize fat and muscle growth. Alcohol can also damage muscle cells and increase muscle soreness which will require you to have to take more time off from training to recover from the soreness. It is important to know that alcohol causes a release of insulin that increases the metabolism of glycogen. You will have a difficult time losing fat.
Large amounts of this drug causes undue stress to your kidneys because it acts like a diuretic. Also because your liver is the organ that detoxifies alcohol then it makes your liver have to work so much harder. The more alcohol you consume the harder your liver has to work which causes undue stress and permanent liver cell damage.
In regards to nicotine, people who smoke can inhibit any positive performance in the gym. When you inhale smoke, your heart has to work harder. To do this, it beats faster. For many people who smoke, it causes irregular contractions that can last as long as 45 minutes. On top of the increased heart rate it also elevates your blood pressure and increases resistance in the airway which makes it more difficult for anybody to breathe. With the difficulty of breathing, it also reduces your endurance and you fatigue faster when training aerobically. Your arteries constrict, which increases your blood pressure and reduces blood flow to the heart muscles.
Nicotine and alcohol are two things you really want to minimize or remove from your daily lifestyle altogether. If you do this, you will be a step ahead in optimizing the rewards of the work you put into your training. Those two things are not part of the healthy fitness lifestyle's formula for success.
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