You’ve finally signed up for your first Bombay Jam dance exercise class. Congratulations! You’ve taken a huge leap forward on your way to getting healthy and having fun while you’re at it. But as any doctor or health nut will tell you, a great exercise routine can only do so much without a healthy diet in place. Sure, many people with rigid fitness routines end up eating healthier as a byproduct of their new habit, but plenty of people don’t, thinking exercise is the sole obstacle on the way to getting leaner, fitter and healthier.
So check out these seven power foods that can help fuel your new Bombay Jam dance exercise routine!
- Whole Grain Oatmeal
Oatmeal actually works well for both pre and post workout snacks, but particularly for pre workout because it digests slowly and provides a high amount of carbohydrates, which in turn gives your muscles the glucose they need.
Oatmeal won’t give you the overstuffed feeling, even if you don’t give yourself the proper one to two hours to digest. By taking its time to digest, your body stays satisfied longer, letting sugar slowly release into your blood stream. Oatmeal also pairs well with other great workout foods like raisins or berries.
Eggs provide an excellent source of protein and won’t weigh you down when you’re dancing to our Top 40/Bollywood mixes. Eggs are always an attractive option due to the variety of ways they can be prepared, and what they can go with in meals. Try hard-boiled eggs if you need something to eat on the go, or incorporate a food synergy of veggies into your omelet.
Not only are almonds an easy-to-pack, tasty snack, they’re also a great source of antioxidants, containing flavonoids, phenolic acids and Vitamin E. Almonds are fiber-rich, mostly unsaturated in their fat content and calorie-dense, giving you the proper energy to burn later. Like some other foods on this list, almonds are a convenient option to have on the go.
They may not have the best reputation for health, but raisins pack quite the punch in delivering high Potassium levels and energy-boosting carbohydrates. For example, a small box of raisins contains almost as many milligrams of Potassium as a small banana. Raisins also help with fluid balance and work to offset muscle cramps and dehydration. Aside from the obvious health benefits, raisins are easy to pack, and can be eaten quickly.
- Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is protein-rich and high in fat-burning calcium. Fat burning calcium is important because it lowers cortisol, a hormone associated with stress that naturally rises during exercise. Greek yogurt also contains magnesium, which helps to calm your nerves and recover your muscles.
High levels of potassium work to reduce inflammation in your joints and muscles, while Greek yogurt’s vitamin B count restores energy — all the things you need after a non-stop dance workout. But perhaps most importantly, the carb content in Greek yogurt restores glycogen to your muscles, which is commonly depleted during workouts as the body uses higher amounts of glucose for energy.
Exceptionally high in proteins and omega 3 fatty acids, salmon also boasts essential antioxidants with anti-inflammatory elements. Salmon lowers muscle swelling, increases your blood flow and reduces soreness. It’s a trifecta of post-workout bliss. Salmon will maximize your workout by continuing to burn fat while slowing down your muscle loss. Oh, and did we mention how tasty it is?
Ginger is one of the most effective natural anti-inflammatories we have. It eases muscle pain, reduced joint stiffness and in turn, greatly decreases swelling. It’s also cheap and has a long storage life. Ginger’s available by capsule, but it can be consumed in a drink or dish with relative ease. Grate ginger root into a tea along with lemon and honey, into a stir-fry dish or even blend it into a fruit or vegetable smoothie.
Keep Up Your Fluids
Forget your sports drink, water is the only thing you need to keep your body hydrated and your muscles fluid. You can make the case for a more electrolyte-heavy drink after a workout to combat fluid and micronutrient loss, but that’s typically only for workouts lasting at least an hour and a half. For our Bombay Jam dance exercise classes, water will do you more than well. Drink water early and often to keep flushing out toxins and help alleviate muscle soreness.
Plan for Digestion
Plan your meals out in advance on days you’re taking our dance exercise class. Don’t eat a full meal unless you have three to four hours to properly digest it. Likewise, allow at least 60-90 minutes before a workout to digest snacks. While these eight are just a small sampling of the healthy food options available to you, they’re a great place to start. As you build out a new diet to accompany your Bombay Jam workout routine, aim for complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich food, lean protein, and healthy fats to replenish your body’s energy.