Healthy Recipes

Build Muscle, Sweeten Your Meals With Strawberries

This sweet favorite can pump up your workout routine.

Pump Up Your Muscle Meals With A Sweet Flavor

Six ounces of lean meat paired with a veggie and complex carb — do that six times every day and you'll start to get bored. Any weightlifter knows that fueling up can be a chore, why shouldn't it be a reward for your had work? Strawberries are an easy fix. When you're looking for a punch of flavor -- won’t kill your macros — strawberries are a solid choice. They're loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You’ll finally start to look forward to that sixth meal.

Julian Schaeffer of Today’s Dietitian says, “Strawberries have many health benefits because they’re rich in color and flavonoids, which are antioxidants.”  Try out these three recipes, they'll spruce up your meals in no time. 

1. Pre-Workout: Strawberry Salad

Put down the pre-workout bottle and shaker cup — get the boost you need for a workout from food. All natural is the way to go when trying to hit your fitness goals. About an hour before working out, make your pre-workout choice a strawberry salad.

There’s a reason why Popeye ate a lot of spinach — just look at that bicep. Spinach is loaded with nitrates, which gets used by the body to create nitric oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide is a vital component in the lifting world because it acts as vasodilator — meaning it widens your blood vessels. This allows for more oxygen to get to the blood, making blood more available throughout your body. The result: more nutrients are hitting your muscles, so say hello to more pumps and bigger muscles. As for the strawberries, they just add more flavor to what was once a boring spinach salad. 

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 6 fresh strawberries
  • Handful of cashews
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 oz grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast or 5 pieces of shrimp
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2. Post Workout: Strawberry & Carrot Juice Smoothie

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Protein is a must when you're trying to refuel those hard-working muscles. Instead of your usual gritty protein shake, amp up your mixture with strawberries and Greek yogurt. Strawberries are loaded with fiber, making them an optimal post-workout choice. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels — avoiding spikes and dips. Courtney Anaya, Nutrition Content Specialist for Muscle & Fitness also mentions, “During intense workouts, our bodies produce free radicals, which can cause damage to our cells in the body. This can actually delay recovery time. Consuming high antioxidant foods post-workout can help counteract this.”

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 8 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup 100% carrot juice
  • 1 tsp agave

3. Dessert: Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

I know you’re health-conscious but c’mon, live a little and eat dessert. Although this recipe is considered a dessert, you won't feel like you have to run three miles to burn off the calories. You'll get a jolt of nutrition from the strawberries in this dessert. A study coming out of Harvard School of Public Health and the University of East Angila had particpants consume at least three servings of berries per week. The results were that the participants experienced the most health benefits. Those benefits included improved cognitive ability and coordination. With better cognition, you'll be sure to stay focused when pushing through a rough set. 

For this recipe, freeze the the fruit and Greek yogurt. Once it's frozen, combine everything in a blender. After it has all been blended, put the mixture back into the freezer. Let the mixture sit for at least two hours before eating. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp agave 

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