Things didn’t look good for Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) when he fought Clubber Lang (Mr. T., who pitied the fool) in “Rocky 3.” Then Rocky started taunting him, “You ain’t so bad!” Clubber lost his cool and wore himself out, and Rocky won the fight.
The lesson? Whether you’re off for a brisk walk or a championship bout, it’s important to eat right so you don’t run out of steam. A recent study says that the best way to do it is to grab a protein blast before you exercise. It can steady blood sugar and keep cortisol levels tamped down, something pre-workout carbs don’t do.
And it helps preserve muscle mass without weight gain, while boosting your metabolic rate and your calorie burn all day long.
Pre-workout protein: Getting a dose 20 minutes before strength training can cause an 8 percent increase in metabolic rate for 24 hours and increase resting energy expenditure by an average of 6 to 6.5 percent for up to 48 hours. Smart snacks: A few ounces of low- or nonfat Greek yogurt with walnuts, pumpkin seeds, natural nut butters on whole-grain crackers, lean meats like sliced turkey breast, a salmon burger or hummus and veggies.
Everyday protein intake: Research indicates that it’s smart to increase your overall protein intake (legumes, nuts, fish and whole grains) moderately to build muscle tone and keep your metabolism humming, especially as you age. But it’s also important to eat protein throughout the day, not just a large amount at once.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.