With the fitness revolution in full gear across the country, Americans are being bombarded with the latest workout fads, diets, and supplements to complement your weekly fitness routine. In Southern California (where i live), one of the most prominent cottage industries that has sprung from this renewed focus on the body is the healthy juice industry. It is nearly impossible to drive anywhere in Southern California longer than five minutes before passing a juice establishment like Nekter Juice Bar or Juice Crafters offering a dizzying array of pre-workout or post-workout juice concoctions. At each Mia Brazilia event that I personally host, customers routinely arrive with one of these tasty, healthy treats in hand. For many fitness enthusiasts, the myriad juice options can be overwhelming and confusing. While healthy juice recipes are abundant and often in the eye of the beholder, the following five healthy juices are optimal for maximum nutrition and energy:
1.) Beet Juice
- Long one of my favorite post-workout drinks, Beet Juice has gained wide popularity over the last decade due to its well-earned reputation for offering an array of health benefits. Beet juice is typically made by simply blending beets and water and is a wonderful source of betalains. Betalains are the pigments that produce the deep-red color of the vegetable. These pigments operate as dynamic antioxidants, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and multiple types of cancer. Beet Juice is relatively low in sugar (since, as a vegetable, it has fewer grams of sugar than most fruits). Beet juice is also high in nitrates, which scientists have found to spike athletic performance and decrease blood pressure and heart disease risk.
2.) Prune Juice
- One of the more underrated fitness juices with respect to taste and nutritional value, Prune Juice is blessed with a high concentration of B vitamins. B vitamins play an essential role in your body’s metabolism and cell cycle construction. In addition, B vitamins aid red blood cell production and restore skin and eye health to the beneficiary. As a derivative of dried plums, Prune Juice is a convenient remedy for constipation, especially among senior citizens. The rich fiber concentration in prune juice softens the stool immediately and operates as a preemptive laxative. Like beets, prunes are rich in antioxidants including Vitamin C and phenolic solutions. Other essential minerals like magnesium and potassium can be found in abundance in Prune Juice.
3.) Orange Juice
- Almost every person alive has likely enjoyed a glass of orange juice at some point in his/her life. Nevertheless, in spite of its national prevalence and ubiquity, Orange Juice often is underestimated for its vast, nutritional properties. One of the most prominent features of orange juice is its concentration of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that is highly beneficial for the health of your skin as well as aborption of iron in your diet. The phenolic compounds in orange juice play a crucial role in eradicating free radicals traveling in your bloodstream that can harm your body’s cells and lead to a multitude of diseases and infections. With the diets of many Americans containing high levels of carbohydrates and fats, orange juice consumption can dramatically reduce the inflammation levels caused by such diets. However, it is important when choosing which orange juice to purchase that you avoid any orange juice with the designation, “from concentrate.” This is due to the fact the concentrated orange juice often contains high levels of sugar and chemical substitutes that are noxious to the body.
4.) Tomato Juice
- Tomato Juice is another healthy juice drink to enjoy either before or after a workout. Although many people assume tomatoes belong in the vegetable category, it is technically a fruit actually. Like Orange Juice, Tomato Juice is rich in Vitamin C, offering the same health benefits for the body’s immune system, skin, and iron absorption. Tomato juice also affords a unique ingestion of a carotenoid called lycopene, an antioxidant that provides the red-colored hue of the tomato. In multiple medical studies, Lycopene has been found to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Since tomato juice can have moderate levels of salt, it is imperative to select low-sodium, tomato juice alternatives to maximize the health benefit of this delicious drink.
5.) Wheatgrass Juice
- One of the most ubiquitous, health drinks offered in California, Wheatgrass Juice is the superstar of the health juice industry and for good reason: its nutritional benefits may be in a galaxy of its own. Wheatgrass Juice is effective at eliminating impurities and stored toxins in the body. The chlorophyll in this juice is adept at detoxing the body and maintaining efficient liver function. Whenever your body is cleansed, your energy levels for your fitness regiment often benefit. The high enzyme concentration in Wheatgrass Juice furthermore enables proper food digestion and the absorption of nutrients. The detox ingredients in wheatgrass cleans your intestinal region, removing the threat of constipation or bloating. Wheatgrass has also been known to boost metabolism and sate your cravings for unhealthy foods. Nutritional studies have also discovered that Wheatgrass Juice lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, provides more energy, and even improves cognitive function. How about that? A healthy green juice that actually can make you smarter!
As millions of Americans undertake workout regimens across the country, the importance of complementing your personal fitness undertaking with a proper, healthy diet has never been more manifestly clear. Adopting and integrating healthy juices into your daily nutrition is essential in order to maximize your gains in the gym and improve your athletic performance. Beet Juice, Prune Juice, Orange Juice, Tomato Juice, and Wheatgrass Juice are just five members of the healthy juice industry that can provide tangible health benefits to the open-minded recipient. Take a sip and enjoy!