Fruit is often a heavily debated topic within the fitness industry and media – some will say the health benefits fruit offers are too good to forego, as where others will argue the carbohydrate contents of certain fruit hamper body composition goals. Personally I sit on both sides of the fence as painful as that sounds because I see both sides of the argument. What I will say is that like most foods fruits are not born equal. Therefore I want to talk about fruits and how you can get away with eating 2 portions of fruit a day and achieve optimal body composition changes.
With your breakfast there are certain fruits which I would encourage you to eat for two reasons – they help gradually increase your blood sugar levels and secondly they are absolutely bursting at the skin with antioxidants and vitamins.
Specifically the type of fruit I am talking about are berries. Berries generally are extremely abundant in antioxidants simply because they have thin skin and as a result are forced to produce antioxidants to protect their cells from the sun. Typically berries contain low glycemic carbohydrates which mean that they raise your blood sugar levels gradually, rather than in one aggressive surge which minimises insulin secretion. This makes them the ideal breakfast fruit.
Personally I believe that blueberries are one of the best with over 5,000 antioxidants per serving. However, Goji berries are the real daddy of the berry group with 25,000 antioxidants per 33g serving!! Throw these in a smoothie, in your oats or just eat them raw.
If you are looking to gain size and maximise strength levels I would recommend eating a specific fruit before you train, apples. Apples are not only a great source of natural sugars with a low glycemic index providing sustained energy throughout the workout, they also contain polyphenols. Studies support the belief that polyphenols help improve muscle strength and recovery during a workout. With that said it wouldn’t be a bad thing to chomp on 2 or 3 apples before you train.
Everyone has their own opinions on this and I will give you mine. Fruits which contain high GI carb sources like pineapple and kiwi fruits are ideal however I would insist on having another form of carbohydrate with them post-workout. This is because fructose, a common carbohydrate source found in high GI fruits does not actually elevate insulin levels which is something you NEED to do post-workout. Nevertheless this type of fruit will help drive up the GI load which will further aid recovery and anti-catabolism in certain individuals.
My choice would be kiwi simply because it has twice as much vitamin C as an orange and this vitamin is ideal for draining the body of pre-workout stimulants allowing for a better night’s sleep and CSN recovery.
Depending on your goals and body fat levels there are a few ideas you can play around with fruit. Yes, I believe you can include it and achieve great results but you have to be smart about it.