Burpees, circuits, hill sprints… we’re always looking for different ways to stay fit and gorgeously healthy, but this week, we’re un-lacing our trainers (temporarily!) and heading to our kitchens. Food has such a huge impact on our body and how we feel and function from day to day, but did you ever think that food could actually make that gruelling 7am spinning class even more effective?

Rather than adding on yet another boot-camp class to your already sweat inducing week, we’re suggesting to complement your diet with these six “Fit Foods” to help your workouts go the extra mile!

Ginger – For all you early birds who like to start your day with a gym sesh, add some chopped ginger to your pre-workout smoothie for extra metabolism boosting effects. Ginger contains thermogenic properties, which increases energy expenditure by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system to enhance metabolic activity.

Sweet Potatoes – Here at Hip & Healthy, we always like to encourage people to make use of the great outdoors when it comes to exercising. It’s so energising being in the fresh air and hey, it’s totally free! But with all the great benefits that training outdoors has to offer, exercising in hot, cold or polluted environments can sometimes be harmful to our bodies. Bring in the sweet potato! This supremely healthy spud can help protect us against cellular damage due to it’s Lycopene content.

Watermelon – Next time you go grocery shopping, be sure to add some juicy watermelon to your basket. Studies have shown that this tropical fruit can help boost circulation, allowing muscles to feel less sluggish and tired, especially if you’re about to hit the squat rack after sitting at your desk all day.

Cherries – Feeling the DOM’s (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) after yesterdays intense workout and struggling to not look like a penguin while walking down the stairs? Then cherries could be the perfect food for you to fight that post-workout discomfort! Research suggests that dark-pigmented foods like cherries, are packed with anthocyanins, which help oxygen travel to tired muscles via the blood stream faster and aids in reducing muscle inflammation.

Pineapple – Marathon runners take note… Pineapple is your best friend post race, to combat inflamed muscles and joints after pounding the pavement. High in bromelain, an enzyme that supports the body’s healing process, it’s a potent, natural anti-inflammatory power-house that has been proven very effective in treating bruises, sprains and swelling which often occurs after a heavy run or training session. Need a post race smoothie recipe? Try our Greeny Colada Recipe full to the brim with pineapple!

Bananas – We all need sleep. It’s a fact and we love every minute of those precious 8 hours tucked up in bed! But are you still buzzing from that evening workout? Then you need to grab yourself a banana. Loaded with magnesium and potassium, which serve as awesome muscle and nerve relaxants, this is definitely the best bed-time snack to calm your body. Not only this, bananas contain vitamin b6 which converts tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleeping patterns.

words by Molly Jennings

image: Roxy