Why Athletes should enjoy a glass or two of tomato juice before and after a workout
Tomatoes are nutrition powerhouses and are actually a fruit which are prepared in meals like a vegetable. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including lycopene.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant providing numerous health benefits. It is shown to enhance athletic performance and improve overall health and fitness. Drinking tomato juice prior to workouts is said to reduce harmful chemical levels caused by oxidative stress.
Think about lycopene as the inflammation clean-up crew when we exercise. Demanding workouts increases levels of oxygen (oxidative stress) and other chemicals potentially damaging to muscle tissue, cells, and even DNA. Antioxidants—especially lycopene—have been shown to significantly reduce these inflammatory chemical reactions.
There are research studies done which show that consuming tomato juice can be better than energy drinks at helping the body recover from exercise.
Experts say that tomatoes provide vital chemicals to help muscles recover and return to normal after being stretched and strained.
A number of health institutions in Greece conducted tests on 15 athletes over a period of two months, looking at vital signs before, during and after exercise.
Nine of the athletes drank tomato juice after exercise and six consumed their regular fizzy energy drink.
Those drinking tomato juice had quicker levels of muscle recovery and their glucose levels returned to normal faster after strenuous exercise.
Tomatoes contain a compound called lycopene, which principally give them their deep-red colour.
In the study, led by researchers at the General Chemical State Laboratory of Greece, harmful levels of enzymes and proteins which contribute to muscle and brain damage returned to normal quicker in those athletes who drank tomato juice after exercise.
The researchers said tomato juice was so effective that people with higher levels of harmful proteins could benefit in just two months. This study was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Other Health Benefits of Tomato Juice…Lycopene-rich tomato juice does more than improving athletic performance. Its superior antioxidant effect provides numerous health benefits.
You can add some more anti-inflammatory sprinkles such as ½ a tsp of turmeric, a pinch of black pepper, or tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and if you’re feeling naughty you could add a splash of tequila or vodka ! Stir with a cucumber or celery stick and enjoy !
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !