Physique-Builders: The right pizza with toppings such as spinach, grilled chicken and smoked salmon can be - here it comes - a pretty good bodybuilding food. Lycopene-rich tomato sauce may increase levels of anabolic insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and help stave off cancer.
Physique-Killers: Slather a thick processed crust with cheese and fatty meats like sausage and pepperoni and that muscle-builder turns into a belt-stretcher. A serving of Uno Chicago Grill Classic comes in at a whopping 770 calories and more than 50 grams of heart-stopping fat. Not how the Italian folks meant for it to be.
Smart Play: Request lean protein sources like chicken and ham. Florida-based sports dietitian Tara Gidus recommends going one step further and asking for half the cheese and, if available, whole-grain crust. Many pizza joints offer made-to-order pies, so take advantage. Like salads, scrutinize the nutrition information offered online. Or make your own with whole-wheat dough, low-fat mozzarella and cubed chicken breast.
May We Suggest: Domino's Crunchy Thin Crust Pizza with pizza sauce, thin crust, cheese, ham, grilled chicken and mushrooms (dominos.com), per slice: 160 calories, 8 g protein, 14 g carbs, 9.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
2) Fruit Juice
Physique-Builders: "Fruit juice can be a great source of vitamin C and other important antioxidants needed to repair oxidative muscle cell damage that occurs during exercise," says Gidus, who is also a nutritionist for the NBA's Orlando Magic. Vitamin C also enhances nitric oxide production.
Physique-Killers: Never consider juice a snack. Although most 100% juices digest very slowly, the lack of chewing involved when consuming the juice leaves you less satiated and on the hunt for the nearest vending machine. When snacking, choose whole fruit over juice.
Smart Play: Choosing 100% juices over sugar-waters labeled "fruit drink" guarantees your body more antioxidants with less added sweet stuff. You could consider exploring your feminine side, as University of Florida (Gainesville) researchers determined that pure pink grapefruit juice contains more nutrients per calorie than other common nectars. Enjoy juice before a workout for slow-digesting carbs that will provide long-lasting energy for your training and won't interfere with fat-burning. Mix juice with your protein powder, or better yet, choose real fruit for much-needed extra fiber to keep you more regular than Norm's presence at Cheers.
May We Suggest: Tropicana 100% Orange Juice with Fiber (tropicana.com), 1 cup: 120 cal-ories, 2 g protein, 29 g carbs, 0 g fat, 3 g fiber