Fresh juice often gets a bad rap, mostly due to the fact that most are relatively high in sugar. But juice offers a whole lot of benefits.
For one, juicing doesn’t have to come from fruit – raw vegetables offer up a wide variety of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, and are full of fiber. Mixing vegetables and fruit can also help cut the glycemic load and reduce the amount of sugar you get from the juice. There is tons of research to support the benefits of juicing for increasing antioxidant load, protecting against the onset of disease, and helping speed the recovery process.
Wondering what juices are right for you? Try these four options to help heal muscles faster, enhance your workouts and get your muscles pumped!
JUICE PICK #1: Pumped Up Beet Juice
Beetroot is considered one of the most nitrate-rich vegetables available. Nitrates help amplify the nitrate-nitrite pathway of NO production, which in turn increases vasodilation leading to better blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles. Beetroot is also high in Betaine, which can help enhance exercise endurance. Recent studies have shown that consuming 15 to 17 oz (2 cups) of beetroot juice resulted in enhanced endurance, reduced fatigue and improved power output.
Juice orange and beetroot, then blend with remaining ingredients in a blender.
Nutrition Info: 166 Calories, 39 g Carbs, 4 g Protein, 1 g Fat
JUICE PICK #2: Kick-Start Your Day Green Juice
Green nutrients like kale, collard greens and spinach not only provide a source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they are also high in the anti-estrogen compound indole-3-carbinol. This compound has been shown to bind tightly to excess estrogen in the body and remove it safely, preventing re-sorption. Keeping estrogen low is important, and helps preserve a proper ratio of testosterone to estrogen in the body. Testosterone is essential for driving muscle-building processes.
1 cup Spinach
1 cup Kale
1 cup Water
1 cup Avocado chopped
1 cup Pineapple chopped
1 tbsp Fresh Mint chopped
Juice pineapple, and then blend the rest in a blender together.
Nutrition Info: 164 Calories, 34 g Carbs, 6 g Protein, 3 g Fat
JUICE PICK #3: Post Workout Tropical Recovery Juice
It’s important to get the right nutrients after your workout to enhance the recovery process. Ingredients like coconut water and banana can help with electrolyte and carbohydrate replenishment. Citrus fruits can provide antioxidant vitamin C, which can protect against free radical damage and inflammation brought on by exercise. Lastly, nuts like cashews are high in selenium – a major co-factor in the antioxidant enzyme glutathionine peroxidase. If you want a protein boost, add your favorite protein powder to the mix for the ultimate post-workout smoothie.
1 small Orange
½ juice of one Lime
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp cashew nut butter
Nutrition Info: 414 Calories, 65 g Carbs, 8 g Protein, 15 g of Fat
JUICE PICK #4: Detox Your Liver Juice
Training and dieting routinely can overload your system, so it’s smart to give your system a clean out with a detox juice once in a while to help restore your liver function and keep your digestive tract functioning optimally. Try diuretic herbs like parsley and citrus fruit like lemon. Also try turmeric – although the taste might not be the most appealing, it has numerous benefits, including functioning as an effective anti-oxidant for reduction of inflammation.
1 tbsp Ginger Root peeled
½ juice of one Lemon
1 cup Pineapple
1 cup Mango
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 cup coconut water
Nutrition Info: 269 Calories, 70 g Carbs, 3 g Protein, 1 g Fat
Lansley, K. E.; Winyard, P.; Fulford, J.; Vanhatalo, A.; Bailey, S. J.; Blackwell, J. R.; DiMenna, F. J.; Gilchrist, M.; Benjamin, N.; Jones, A. M., Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of walking and running: a placebo-controlled study. Journal of Applied Physiology 2010, 110, 591-600.
Muggeridge, D. J.; Howe, C. C. F.; Spendiff, O.; Pedlar, C.; Phillip, J. E.; Easton, C., The Effects of a Single Dose of Concentrated Beetroot Juice on Performance in Trained Flatwater Kayakers. International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism 2013, 23 (5), 498-506.