Before working out, it is important to eat the right kinds of foods so that you can flex your muscles and joints easily and not suffer from cramps. Flexibility refers to the ability of different body parts to complete their motions. You need flexibility to perform regular activities like walking, lifting or bending and when you are flexible your muscles also remain active and mobile. This is why it is also important to introduce flexibility exercises when you are working out.
Stretching is a good way to make your body flexible before working out. But in order to improve your workout flexibility, it is not enough to simply stretch. You need to add certain foods to your diet that can improve your flexibility.
Foods which improve flexibility:
Green vegetables: Dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach, seaweed, kale, chard, collard greens and watercress can heighten your flexibility when you add them to your daily diet. They have high water content which is necessary to flush out acids from your body. Popular diet services emphasize adding fresh fruits and vegetables to the daily diet to rev up metabolism and enhance the supply of nutrients. You can also use a greens powder supplement.
Spirulina: If you can mix this to your morning smoothie, you can increase your flexibility dramatically. This alga has many essential vitamins like beta carotene and B complex vitamins which boosts muscle strength. It can also prevent muscle cramps and let you stretch with ease.
Barley grass: You can use barley grass extract in your daily meals. This will contain beta carotene, high amounts of calcium and iron etc which all play an important role in increasing flexibility and promoting overall health.
Water: Perhaps there is no other food that can improve flexibility as much as water. You should always start your day with a glass of water and make it a point to drink well before you start an exercise routine. Water helps to lubricate the joints making you flexible in the process.
Proteins: Foods like fish and chicken, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocados, fresh fruits or veggies are great for improving flexibility. For flexibility and to avoid injuries, you need to load up on foods that are known to have very high water content like vegetables and fruits. Protein drinks and fruit smoothies can also help to hydrate your body. Chronic inflammations may cause fluid retention that makes your muscles stiff. Alkaline conditions are known to reduce inflammations and foods which can increase alkalinity are mainly vegetables and fruits. Spices like turmeric and ginger also help because these have anti-inflammatory properties.
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Foods containing sulfur or amino acids promote flexible joints. So high sulfur foods like garlic, cruciferous vegetables, onions, egg yolks, red peppers etc are recommended for increased muscular flexibility in workouts.
Apart from these healthy foods, you need to remember that junk foods should be avoided before a workout. Junk foods and packaged foods contain excess sodium which leads to joints becoming swollen. The body tries to hold onto more fluids to dilute blood. Coffee and alcohol can also dehydrate the body. Acid-forming foods like processed carbs and sugar rich foods should also be ideally avoided before exercising.