Despite their unglamorous association with kick- starting your daily motion, prunes deserve a regular role in your muscle- building plan. Pre-workout shakes are often hit or miss: either they’ll make you feel ready to run through walls, or the face tingles and palpitations they cause will make surviving the next hour your chief concern. Fortunately, researchers at Oklahoma State University have identified prunes as a healthier alternative that’ll help you unlock new gains more fruitfully.
While studying the effects of prunes on bone density, they noticed that a daily portion of the dried fruit boosted concentrations of IGF-1 in their test subjects by 17%. This protein regulates the effects of growth hormone, encouraging development in your bones and muscle tissue – in other words, it’ll help you pump up your arms. That’s why bodybuilders use it in its synthetic form to add mass, lose fat and improve their endurance.
Admittedly, prunes contain a carbohydrate called sorbitol, which is known to help things flow freely. But stick to a small portion – roughly a handful of six before a session – and you’ll spare yourself the need for mid-workout comfort breaks. Much more helpful are the fruit’s high levels of iron and potassium, which support healthy blood flow, and its fibre, which steadies its release of energy. Try these snacks before your workout: you’ll be chewing through your next workout.
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