Most people know the fastest way to burn the most fat is to eat right and workout at a higher intensity. The GSP Rushfit program is designed to help you do just that, but rather than explain the entire 8 Week Training Camp in detail, let’s take a look at how anyone can lose more fat than ever before by following 6 easy guidelines suitable for even the busiest schedules, ability levels or age.
EAT LESS MORE OFTEN:
Yes, you can still eat the same amount over the course of the day but just not all in two or three sittings. If you can stop yourself from going into “all-you-can-eat” mode, your body will maintain a higher metabolism and you will feel less full by spreading out your daily diet over 5-6 smaller meals.
Smaller spikes in blood sugar levels, no “food coma” feeling, but with all the same calories and nutrients to keep your fat loss burning more steadily. Big meals slow down your metabolism and blunt your fat loss. Small meals keep you burning. Follow these easy tips to eat less more often HERE.
EAT MORE PROTEIN:
We’re not just telling you to eat more protein because you need it for muscle recovery and repair, though that’s true because the more lean muscle you have on your body the higher your metabolism is.
Protein, made up of branch-chains of amino acids, takes more energy to digest and absorb into your body than carbohydrates and fat. Any excess protein calories in your body can also be used as a fuel source, unlike carbohydrates and fat. Excess fat is stored as body fat, excess carbohydrates are also stored as body fat.
The key to remember is to look for proteins from vegetables or lean meats, preferably not processed meat products or those packed with fat. If you’re unsure, check out your GSP RUSHFIT Nutrition Guide for easy to follow lists of low-fat foods.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has time and again been proven as the most effective method to burn fat (and build strength, stamina and a ripped body). It’s no secret that the HIIT principles are part of what make GSP Rushfit so successful. Combining light weights and high reps for a more intense pace prevents you from having to do cardio AFTER your weightlifting, and burns more calories than either weight lifting or cardio. If you want to raise your intensity and amplify your fat burn, we recommend you get RUSHFIT!
As mentioned above, cardiovascular training is a lower intensity exercise than HIIT. That’s why cardio activities are a perfect way to boost your metabolism on rest days without risking overtraining and injuring yourself along the way.
Our cardio section is full of suggested activities, but really any activity done at moderate intensity (just enough to break a light sweat) for 30-45 minutes on rest days will do. Try doing cardio for 30 minutes and then stretch for 30 minutes. Even yoga counts. The key is to boost your heart rate moderately for to kickstart your metabolism. The activity won’t just burn more fat, it will deliver more oxygen to your tired muscles so they recover faster.
Burn fat on days off by taking it easy? Yes, you can.
BEFORE & AFTER:
At the beginning of the 8 Week Training Camp, we ask people to take a Before photo they can look at later on in the program to see how far they have come. Many people don’t do this, and as a result regret it towards the end when their results blow expectations out of the water and they look, feel and perform better than ever.
Why don’t they do this? Some feel embarrassed, some aren’t in the shape they want to be, and others just don’t feel like it. True, you don’t have to take a Before photo and you can still succeed. Realistically it’ll be much more rewarding to compare it with the After photo taken upon completing Week 8. You can also use your Before photo as motivation throughout the program as the workouts push you to work at intensities you’ve never experienced before.
When you brag to your friends about your newly ripped physique, it’s a lot more impressive to show them where you came from. Trust us. Or check out our Success Stories for people just like you who did the Before and After for amazing results!
Still one of the most underrated habits that can sink your training results if you don’t get enough, sleep plays a vital role in training success and overall health. If you’re chronically tired and find you aren’t recovering fast enough, make sure you’re getting a bare minimum 7 hours (preferably 8) a night. Any less than that will impact your short-term performance and long-term health.
Did you know that a chronic sleep deficit is linked to obesity and weight gain?
Many people have busy schedules and many commitments, so it’s not always possible to get the nightly requirement of sleep. In that case, power naps are a great supplement to your sleep that will help your daily energy levels and also lower your stress levels. If you aren’t convinced, we have some real easy tips on how to use power naps to boost your fat loss and performance.
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Fruits are generally full of nutrients and health benefits, but for the training diet they pose an even more important role because the demands on the body are much higher during an 8 Week Training Camp than for the average person.
Thanks to certain nutrients, bananas hold even more benefits for athletes and workout recovery than most fruits, so check out the details below and make sure to pickup a bunch on your next trip to the grocery store.
Technically, bananas are a berry (yup!) and though there are several different types, the kind we are referring to are the Cavendish group of yellow, sweet-tasting fruits found in your grocery store.
Other types appear red or green and are used for cooking in dishes across a wide variety of cultures. Originally, bananas were grown in Southeast Asia and the New Guinea region. In modern times, bananas are grown all over the world in warmer climates, especially South America and Africa.
Like many fruits, bananas are loaded with nutrients to compliment your training diet and provide a boost to your overall health. In fact, bananas have more nutrients than most fruits as evidenced below.
One medium-sized banana, (approximately 110-120 grams) contains just about 105 calories, with 1 gram of protein, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and NO FAT.
In terms of vitamin and mineral content, bananas are known for being high in potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and unlike most fruits are also high in vitamin B6 with almost 30% of the average recommended daily intake.
Potassium is one of the main electrolytes in the body, and plays a major role in everything from balancing fluid levels, building protein and muscle fibers, and regulates normal cardiac function and regular muscle function during activity.
Manganese, an antioxidant trace mineral needed in smaller quantities, is especially important for healthy nerve and brain function and in the absorption of calcium into bones. Signs of manganese deficiency include heart problems, high blood pressure, improper muscle contractions, poor eyesight, poor hearing and memory loss. Safe to say, you may not need a lot of manganese but it is vital to your daily life AND long-term health.
Vitamin B6, which is crucial for muscle tissue repair, immune support, and formation of red blood cells, is one of the B complex of vitamins you can read more about HERE.
So bananas are generally good for you. Surprised? Of course not. Most people know this, but do most people know how much bananas can benefit the training diet? Of course not.
The high content of potassium in bananas makes them a great food to prevent muscle cramping. As sodium and potassium are the two electrolytes responsible for muscle contraction and relaxation, an imbalance or deficiency in either can lead to painful cramps when you need your muscles to work the most.
A simple way to take advantage of this is to regularly consumer bananas during your 8-week training camp. The moment your muscles cramp is too late; eat them during the morning of your training days, and better yet include them in your pre-workout meal or snack. Keep in mind they cannot cure cramps, just prevent them. If cramping is something you experience, make sure to up your potassium intake after the session to prevent these recurring aches, and don’t be afraid to add coconut water to balance your electrolytes.
You can eat bananas on their own, add them to your favorite bowl of oatmeal, on top of a peanut butter sandwich, in a delicious loaf of banana bread… You get the point.
If you are running late for a workout or had to skip a meal, the small calorie punch of a banana is a fast and healthy way to get some energy for a training session without feeling bloated or loading up on artificial calories. Likewise, if you are facing an extended wait before a post-activity meal, the banana will hold you over and replenish the nutrient stores highlighted above to get you back on the road to recovery without slipping.
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Amanda M lost 10 lbs and started her transformation to her pre-baby body with GSP RUSHFIT!
Age: 27 Start Date: 06/24/14 – End Date: 08/19/14
Starting Weight: 137 Ending Weight: 127
>>> WHY RUSHFIT?
I initially purchased RUSHFIT a few years ago because although I was in pretty good shape, I wanted more tone and definition throughout my body; I didn’t want to just be skinny, I wanted to be strong. I did my research on various home workout programs and ultimately decided on Rushfit. After I finished my first 8 week cycle back in 2013, I had abs for the first time in my life! So, after I had my son in May of this year (2014), it was a no-brainer that RUSHFIT was my workout of choice to help kickstart the process of getting my pre-baby body back. I am now 13 weeks postpartum and while I still have a way to go to reach my fitness goals, I have RUSHFIT to credit with helping me begin to regain the confidence, strength, endurance (and abs!) I previously had.
>>> WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RUSHFIT WORKOUT?
Explosive Power Training is my absolute favorite. It is so much different than other workouts I typically do and I love how challenging the plyometrics are, especially Round 2 - “the grand daddy of ‘em all” per Eric
>>> WHAT DIET AND NUTRITIONAL CHANGES DID YOU MAKE?
While I generally eat pretty healthy, I was much more mindful of what I was putting in my body after I began RUSHFIT (e.g., less processed foods). The workouts are tough and I didn’t want to compromise all of the hard work I had been putting in by not fueling my body with the proper nutrition.
>>> WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF COMPLETING RUSHFIT?
The hardest part by far was finding the time and motivation to workout with a newborn in the house. Despite how exhausted I frequently was, putting aside 45 minutes/day (thanks to help from my mom and husband) for RUSHFIT became a little chunk of “me” time that I looked forward to. I knew the workouts were helping make me a healthier mom, mentally and physically, and a healthy, happy momma = healthy, happy baby.
>>> ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
This program truly will help get you in the best shape of your life if you stay dedicated and don’t tap out. There were plenty of days when I was so tired I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through another set of air squats or burpees, but Georges and Eric do a great job of motivating you to push yourself, and you will be so glad you did. I am on to the intermediate calendar next and cannot wait to see the results the next 8 weeks of RUSHFIT will bring.
Finished 8 Weeks of RUSHFIT? Learn how to receive your FREE RUSHFIT shirt: www.gsprushfit.com/free-shirt
Most people know that regular exercise relieves built up tension in your muscles. High intensity interval training is even more effective at this than moderate exercise, and has shown to have many other benefits like improved confidence and mental focus, not to mention the obvious benefits of fat loss, calorie burn and increased strength.
What if we told you there’s also a healthy way to reduce stress with the food you eat? No, we’re not talking about emotional eating, where you sit down with a tub of ice cream or family-sized bag of chips to accompany a tv show or game.
There’s no point in using food as therapy if it’s junk food that’s going to undermine your whole training diet. Is it possible there are actually healthy foods that can reduce your stress level AND contribute benefits to the training diet? Yes there are!
This versatile, natural source of healthy fats is also loaded with B vitamins, which help ease distressed nerves and brain cells. The high content of monounsaturated fat and potassium also work to reduce blood pressure, meaning that if you eat avocado regularly you’ll feel the calming effects both mentally in the short term AND physically in the long-term
A warm cup of milk has long been a home remedy for insomnia. That’s because milk can produce a calming effect on the body to relieve stress. High in antioxidants, calcium and protein, milk will also lower blood pressure and ease muscle spasms related to tension.
ORANGES & CITRUS FRUITS
Oranges, and any other food especially high in Vitamin C, are excellent foods to eat when you are feeling stressed. Why? Because Vitamin C is very effective in lowering the levels of cortisol (the main stress hormone) AND blood pressure rather quickly. Don’t forget it also boosts your immune system, so you won’t get sick when you are also tired and worried.
OATMEAL & CEREALS
Oatmeal and other cereals like corn flakes, puffed rice and other grains contain B vitamins like other foods, which are good for stress reduction, and another compound called folic acid. Folic acid is vital to the healthy function of your nervous system, cognitive performance, and improved memory. So it won’t just help your body feel better, it will remind your mind to relax as well.
Dark chocolate will require some moderation and self control, but we already know its full of antioxidants for many health benefits. Now, what if we told you a study has shown that people with high levels of stress, who ate half a bar of dark chocolate in the morning and again at night, showed significantly lower levels of the stress hormones like catecholamines and cortisol after just two weeks?
If you’re interested in the health benefits of dark chocolate, eat a small amount twice a day and account for it in your carbohydrate and fat calorie counts. A training diet is one that should both benefit your training AND satisfy your taste buds and nutritional requirements. If you work it into your training diet and make sure to account for the calories there is no reason you can’t enjoy all the stress reducing benefits dark chocolate has to offer.
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Maybe they strike when you’re watching television, completely relaxed and unassuming. Others strike at difficult times just when you’re about to lie down for sleep, or stuck in traffic on a hot day. What are these dreaded episodes?
We’re not talking about legitimate hunger after training or getting your daily meals, we’re talking about those urges that threaten to derail your balanced diet by convincing you to eat a bowl of chips late at night or down that chocolate bar in between meals.
Cravings are a fact of life and most people experience them at some point in the day if not at least several times a week. Here’s a few simple ways to minimize your cravings and their impact without drastically changing your diet. Remember that your diet is responsible for at least 50% of your results, you’ll want to arm yourself with these tips.
Snacking allows you bridge those hours between full meals to prevent distractions or hunger from slowing you down.
Snacking IS DIFFERENT than giving into a simple craving because you’re planning ahead and eating something beneficial such as fruit, nuts, half a sandwich, as opposed to scrambling for something loaded with calories and additives when the mood strikes you.
We’ve looked at simple but effective snacking strategies here, and also suggest you read our primer on snacking late at night so you can balance your urges and sleep well without hunger interrupting your dreams.
2) Limit Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are added to food to reduce the total number of calories while maintain the same flavor. While that may work for the taste side of the equation, once digested into your system artificial sweeteners still cause spikes in your blood and confuse your body because it believes you’re digesting calories when you aren’t. This causes people to overeat, because they think sugar-free means calorie-free.
Of course, we’re not suggesting you focus on sugar-heavy, calorie rich foods. We’re suggesting you limit the amount of junk food you eat PERIOD, so don’t let artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose fool you into thinking you’ve avoided the issue. Chances are the calories you skip by using artificial sweeteners will be made up in your total calorie intake. Consider this question as a good example:
Do you ever order a diet burger and diet fries with you diet soda?
Right? Stop kidding yourself and avoid artificial sweeteners.
Water can help blunt cravings or even legitimate hunger pangs when used properly, and not simply because it fills up the space in your stomach for a brief time.
Thirst is regulated by the same part of your brain (the hypothalamus) as hunger, so what you may think is a spot of hunger could actually be thirst. On the other hand, a glass of water will signal back the brain that you ingested something and at least delay the craving by another 15 minutes or so.
4) Balance Your Routine
Some people find they tend to get cravings after large meals and wonder why. The easy answer is that large meals cause large spikes in blood sugar, and once those spikes are gone lethargy sets in and your system frets for more food to metabolize.
A simple yet very effective way to reduce the constant spike/crash cycle and reduce food cravings in between meals is to eat smaller meals more often. We’ve discussed the many benefits of eating 6 small meals a day opposed to 3 large meals here, but that’s just one example.
You may not have the time to eat 6 meals a day, but 4 meals spread out are probably still better than 6, especially if you add power snacks to help you transition from your old routine to one that works better for your training needs.
5) Reduce Stress
Yes, emotional eating is a real thing and cravings can directly result from stress. When you are stressed your body releases the hormone cortisol, which normally regulates metabolism, immune function, and insulin levels, but at higher-than-regular levels increases blood pressure, weakens your immune system, and increases storage of abdominal fat.
So where do cravings come into the equation?
Frustratingly enough, fat and sugar inhibit some of the functions of cortisol, helping to minimize its effect at elevated levels.
A healthier long-term approach would be to reduce your stress levels so you don’t punish your body with foods that sabotage your training efforts.
Great methods to dealing with stress are a basic warm up and long, slow stretch, a yoga class, or even a simple walk outside to clear your mind. Do yourself a favor now and keep them off to begin with, then thank us later and let us know how you’re redefining your intensity!
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Dehydration is one of the most common and most discussed topics in performance training and elite conditioning like the GSP Rushfit 8 Week program. Everyone knows you just have to gulp some water a bunch of times a day whenever you feel thirsty and all will be fine, right?
Noooooooope! By the time you start feeling thirsty, you’re already experiencing minor dehydration. Keep in mind that during high intensity interval training (HIIT), your body cannot absorb fluids as quickly as they are lost.
What about that friend who comes along for a run and starts exhibiting advanced symptoms, would you know what to do if you recognized someone else exhibiting symptoms of advanced dehydration?
We’re not talking about mild cramps and a trip to the water fountain. The extreme temperatures of summer combined with intense workouts compound to create the perfect conditions for rapid fluid loss. Let’s have a look at basic guidelines what to do if you experience more than your workout bargained for in the heat of summer.
The highest at-risk groups for dehydration are seniors, children and anybody with an underlying condition such as diabetes or high blood pressures. If your body is already stressed due to a long-term (diabetes, etc) condition or short-term illness (flu, cold), the added demands of a workout will overload one’s entire metabolic system much faster than the average person.
When you consider the elevated demands of HIIT and high temperatures, athletes are also very likely to experience dehydration if no attention is paid.
In summary, these groups are:
- Children and infants
- Anyone with a medical condition (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, flu, cold, pneumonia)
Early signs of dehydration are no reason to panic, but they are a reason to pay attention. These are easily addressed by merely taking the appropriate fluids as allowing two or three hours to pass. That said, if you’re experiencing any of these issues during the day leading up to a workout, you may want replenish your fluid levels first and try the next day.
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Decreased urine excretion, dark in color
- Mild dizziness
ADVANCED SIGNS REQUIRING MEDICAL ATTENTION
We always encourage people to set personal bests, redefine their intensity and attack their workouts with total fervor.
Ignoring the early signs of dehydration however is not a matter of toughness but risking serious injury. If you notice any of the following symptoms in yourself or a workout partner during or after workout, stop and follow up with a doctor.
- Extreme thirst
- Dry, sunken skin
- Constant vomiting for more than an hour
- Elevated temperature over 101°F/38°C
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Disorientation, confusion
- Significant weakness
EMERGENCY SIGNS REQUIRING IMMEDIATE ACTION
Depending on the weather, location and your baseline health, advanced symptoms can progress to dangerous conditions quickly if ignored and activity has continued.
If you ever feel or witness the following in yourself or a workout partner, stop whatever you are doing and seek emergency assistance.
- Temperatures higher than 103°F/39°C
- Sluggishness (lethargy)
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest or abdominal pains
- No urine in the last 12 hours
Tips to Prevent & Treat Dehydration
There are several ways to prevent/address mild dehydration at home before you exercise and when you spot the symptoms. Keep in mind this is for mild dehydration only. For anyone showing signs of advanced dehydration, we recommend seeing a doctor, and for anyone with emergency dehydration symptoms please seek immediate medical attention.
- Increase your fluid levels approximately an hour before exercising so your body has time to absorb the fluids, and maintain a small but steady intake throughout the day.
If you’re not sure how much fluid to hydrate with, check our post HERE for simple steps. For a suggestion of fluids, we recommend any of water, coconut water or sports drinks with electrolytes. Remember, ANY of these is a better option than NOTHING.
- When exercising, take water during breaks between rounds. This won’t help you immediately but rather prevent dramatic fluid loss and allow your body to recover faster once the training session is over.
For moderate dehydration, a basic approach can work effectively. Some people will feel better within a few hours, but that only means you are feeling better, not good enough to return to action. Some people can take up to 24-36 hours before fluid levels are balanced, so rushing back to activity is strongly discouraged.
- Stop exercising
- Get out of direct sunlight and LIE DOWN in the shade or an air-conditioned area
- Take off any excess clothes and elevate your feet
- Continue to drink fluids gradually over the next 24 hours
- Wait 24-36 hours before resuming training
As you can clearly see, advanced and extreme dehydration are much more serious problems than cramping or thirst. Immediate health issues arise quickly in hot weather, and it can be hard to notice the warning signs when you’re focused on an intense workout in the summer heat.
Save yourself and your performance by prioritizing overall health when in doubt. Your progress and results will be that much better for it, not to mention your general well-being!
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Maybe you don’t even think about breakfast until your stomach growls two or three hours after your day has become, meaning in some cases you won’t eat until lunch. Other people find they simply have no appetite in the morning until their metabolism awakes from night and revs up meet daily demands.
Yes, you will survive the day by skipping a meal in the morning, but you’re really not doing your body or mind any favors by missing breakfast on a regular basis. Even though we all know the benefits of breakfast by now, eating it on a daily basis is still a challenge for many people.
Today we look at several examples of a quick, simple breakfast for those of you who are too busy to eat or have no appetite first thing in the morning.
Smoothies and Shakes
Pick three fruits, throw them in a blender. Add your choice of yogurt, milk/almond milk or cottage cheese, and blend. You could throw in a scoop of your favorite protein powder if you want.
This combination of carbohydrates and protein will provide enough boost to get you up and running for a few (and we do mean few) hours. It’s perfect as breakfast or a midday snack, and won’t make you feel sluggish early in the morning. You could also toss a handful of blueberries into a cup of yogurt for an shorter version of this breakfast shortcut.
Those little snack bags of dried fruit and nuts you pack for your kids to eat at recess- Guess what? You’re a big kid now, so make a bag for yourself and eat it for breakfast.
Fiber-rich nuts like walnuts or almonds add a nice crunch and are a rich source of nutrients like calcium, magnesium and iron. Again, you don’t have to eat an entire bowl, but at least a handful (if not two) to give your body and mind that essential morning boost.
Instant cereals, whether cold cereal or hot items like oatmeal, porridge or the like, can contribute many great nutrients to a complete balanced breakfast. That can also make a great shortcut breakfast in a cup as opposed to a large bowl. Add hot water (or cold milk) as you wish.
Much like some of our other breakfast shortcuts the fiber-rich content and carbohydrate content is perfect in the morning, and some milk or dairy substitute (like almond milk) rounds out your need with a bit of protein and fat.
If you’re in a rush, or just want to avoid a spill, you can also use cereal as a base for snack mix like we did with dried fruits and nuts.
Breakfast, though a necessity, often becomes a matter of convenience even though you should never have to leverage your health against your time. If you’re fueling erratically, you’ll perform even worse, so make sure you have a solid foundation of nutrition to take advantage of all your hard work, regardless the time of day.
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After some time that cute fad died out, and someone was keen enough to do a study on other possible uses of chia seeds only to discover they are a packed with benefits for the regular person, and even more so for the training diet. Yes, those very same chia seeds.
Today we look at the nutritional value of chia seeds and why you should consider adding this small put powerhouse nutritional source to your weekly routine.
Chia seeds come in a variety of colors from white to dark brown and black. They come from the same family of flowering plants as mint, though they are used largely in seed form.
When it comes to nutritional value, chia seeds are often compared to flax and quinoa. Here’s how they stack up to each other in the main caloric categories:
FLAXSEED CHIASEED QUINOA
(per ounce/28g) 150 137 103
CARBS 8g 12g 18g
FAT 12g 9g 2g
PROTEIN 5g 4g 4g
FIBRE 8g 11g 2g
Just like flaxseeds, chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and come with a complimentary amount of dietary fiber. Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be eaten in their raw form, whereas flax has to be ground to make all the benefits available through digestion. Though not as rich in energy as quinoa, chia seeds are also a great source of calcium, phosphorous and manganese while scoring very low in sodium and cholesterol.
The combined benefits of chia seeds lead to aiding and slowing down the digestive process, aiding in bone and dental maintenance, lowering cholesterol, and of course, lowering the risk of heart disease.
Described as having a very mild, nutty flavor to being almost flavorless, chia seeds are easily mixed into a variety of dishes, though it is possible to eat them on their own as well.
An easy serving suggestion would be to sprinkle chia seeds into your favorite bowl of granola or cereal. The flavor profile matches well with other grains, and for the same reason chia seeds can be mixed into many baking recipes without noticeably altering the final product.
For a fortified boost of nutrition, try adding chia seeds to your favorite salad or condiment, work them into an omelet, pancakes, or give your low fat yogurt some texture with a healthy dose of fat from a small scoop of chia seeds.
As with most healthy foods, the internet is a valuable resource for recipes and serving suggestions. The easiest thing about consuming chia seeds is through they are possible to eat on their own when combined with water to form a gel-like cake, they are even easier to add to main recipes and complete dishes.
Much like other power foods, chia seeds are stocked with many benefits and can add a great balance to your diet. Just remember they are only a food; if you’re not going to put in the time and do the hard work, don’t expect your diet to bring about a chiseled new body. Benefits like the ones found in chia seeds are much greater when you have an active lifestyle, and the combination of a healthy diet with a high intensity structured workout program can only lead to incredible results.
Try them out and let us know what you think, we’re here for your success and always interested in how you’re doing!
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We’ve talked about the havoc dehydration wreaks on your performance daily and in the long-run, and to that end we’ve discovered that Coconut water is nature’s answer to restoring electrolytes and minerals with a splash of carbs to keep you hydrated and functioning at optimal levels. It performs the same as many manufactured sports drinks but with less artificial sugar. In fact, it’s all natural.
Now prepare yourself for the next contestant for nature’s-best-hydrating-beverage, Maple water.
Maple water, not to be confused with it’s sweet, sticky older sister maple syrup, is exactly what is sounds like. Pure maple sap is naturally filtered and infused with minerals and nutrients. The sap contains between 95 to 98 per cent water, and is pasteurized for consumption.
Most maple water production is done in the same areas as most of the maple syrup production, that being the eastern United States (New York, Vermont)and South Eastern Canada (Quebec! The home province of GSP!).
The major difference in processing is that maple sap must be boiled and reduced to create the final maple syrup you pour onto your pancakes.
One aspect that many people are waking up to in North America is that maple water extraction does not require the destruction of trees or associated environments while also providing a more localized/domestically sourced beverage, while most (if not all) coconut water is imported from outside North America.
Several reasons have led to maple water being considered as a healthy, natural beverage.
One is that it is supposedly high in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. At this time there haven’t been many (if any) independent research studies on the benefits of maple water for your basic daily health or performance needs.
Taking a look at nutritional facts from the website of major manufacturers such as Kiki Maple Sweet Water, one serving (300ml/10 fl oz), contains just 60 calories from 15 grams of carbs, with a reported 94 mg of potassium. It contains trace amounts of minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
Compare this with coconut water, which has 60 calories in a 12 fl oz serving. It is also high in essentials minerals like potassium calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and the B-Vitamin complex (that’s riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, and folates). Much like maple water, coconut water comes from an all-natural source with minimal-to-none environmental impact.
Maple water appears to have several beneficial properties shared with coconut water that can hydrate your body and provide beneficial properties without the drawback of loading artificial sugars into you. It comes from a natural source and is merely another, less-processed form of maple syrup, so it’s safe to consume, especially if it’s pasteurized before it hits the market to ensure a reasonable shelf life.
That said, just like many newly discovered “super-foods”, maple water hasn’t been on the market long enough to undergo much scrutiny or testing. It’s safe to consume, but we cannot vouch for its benefits as we ourselves at Team Rushfit have not found it in our local grocery store after looking for the past two weeks.
If you’re lucky enough to find it in your area, try it out and let us know what you think. How’s it taste? Notice any difference? Compared to coconut water? We’ll keep an eye-out for this new health beverage and complete a follow-up post soon, in the meantime keep us in the loop and let us know what you think!
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Quite often people are forced to choose between what they want to eat and what they need to eat. This can be especially true of someone completing a HIIT course as GSP RUSHFIT or for anyone maintaining a balanced, health conscious lifestyle.
Pizza, a long-time favorite of kids, sports fans, weekend warriors, Italian food lovers, all food lovers, and anyone who looking for a quick, hot bite. Generally it’s also considered a caloric nightmare; the dough made from refined white flour, the toppings full of processed meats high in fat, not to mention the levels of sodium are off the pie. Don’t kid yourself, the vegetables you may throw on top pretty much count for nothing.
So how does one live a balanced life without giving up one of the most popular dishes in America?
It’s simple. Look at the basic ingredients, customize them to suit your concerns or needs. Thanks to the growing awareness of nutrition and fast-emerging food trends, most chain pizza places have adapted their menus to offer several choices in each category of crust and toppings.
It’s also very simple to make these at home. Don’t be afraid to experiment in your own kitchen.
- For crust, consider gluten-free and multigrain crusts made from unbleached flour. They will lower the glycemic impact of the carbs, as well as providing more fiber rather than empty calories.
- Free-range and antibiotic-free meats are also a good idea.
- For cheese look for low-fat mozzarella (or any low-fat cheese), and consider Daiya, a non-dairy cheese alternative.
- Vegetable options are almost unlimited, covering the classics like peppers and onions but many places also offer other items such as red cabbage, grilled artichokes, spinach and arugula. Are we still talking about pizza here?!
Yes we are.
Here’s why all this is very good news. Even just the simple alternatives we’ve pointed out, you can significantly reduce the caloric load and fat consumption associated with pizza. Other adjustments allow you to meet dietary requirements standard pizza cannot.
- Vegetarian? Check.
- Low-carb? Check.
- Paleo? Check.
- Low-fat, low-sodium, high-protein fuel after a workout? Check, check, and check, mate.
While it’s true that eating a healthy pizza once won’t melt all the fat off your body, making informed choices on regular basis does add up. For example, if you were to eat pizza once a week, and managed to clip 500 calories off that pie, you’d take a big step in the right direction. If you made the switch permanent, in 7 weeks time you’d have saved 3500 extra (mostly empty) calories from being absorbed. 3500 calories are equal to 1 pound of body fat!
That’s the difference between staying in shape, and falling out of shape. It’s not what you do once that determines your success, it’s what you do habitually. The choices we’ve highlighted above are simple enough that you can recreate them on your own, or look for them at your own local pizzeria.
Make the right choice and STILL enjoy your pizza. Better yet, make the pizza at home, piled up with all your favorite toppings that won’t undermine your workout.
Imagine that… Athletes eating real food made with smart choices so they can enjoy their favorite dish and still support their performance and training habits. We like to call that the best of both worlds. Next time you are tempted for pizza, know there are better options available that let you have your pie and elite performance too. After all, you work hard enough in the gym, you should eat your heart out afterwards without worrying about it!
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