When it comes to what to do to make your workout more effective, the internet, friends, strangers, and family members are quick to give their advice. However, many of the workout tips that you’ve heard or come across are anecdotal at best – which means they are not guaranteed to work.
Here are four of the best workout tips that are backed by science.
1. Load Up With Carbs
Many gym gurus and fitness fanatics might have told you that you shouldn’t eat before a workout and you should avoid carbohydrates altogether (unless you’re weightlifting or running). Unfortunately, it’s simply not true.
Research shows that skipping meals before a workout can actually hinder your performance, and loading up on carbs before you hit the gym improves your strength and endurance. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel, after all.
When you carbo-load before you work out, you’ll put more effort in, but that’s not all. Carbs also work wonders for caloric expenditure and muscle growth.
If you work out in the morning but hate eating breakfast, you can try a performance-enhancing drink that’s been fortified with carbohydrates, or try a few Steel Supplements samples.
2. Get a Gym Buddy
Although one of the most common complaints with people beginning their fitness journey is that nobody will work out with them, this complaint is backed by science.
Studies on exercise and motivation revealed that people who work out with a friend tend to work out harder. A stronger partner will give your performance a boost, and your workouts will become easier, too.
Next time you’re struggling to lift those weights, ask a friend to join you.
3. Listen to Music
Most people have a favorite playlist that’s loaded up with high-octane workout songs. Jamming to heavy metal or pounding techno while exercising may be your thing, and science says you’re not wrong.
Studies on the way music can influence your workout show that people who listen to music have higher levels of dopamine and serotonin in their systems – which help them recover after a workout faster.
Another study found that the type of music you listen to matters, though. Music with 130 to 140 bpm gives people a performance boost, so save the sad or slow tunes for other occasions.
4. Drink Coffee and Chocolate Milk
Typically, starting a diet means giving up some of your favorite foods and drinks. Coffee with cream and sugar adds unnecessary calories, so people tend to cut it out first. However, provided you don’t go crazy with the extra sugar and toppings, coffee can help your workout.
Studies have found that coffee (besides giving you energy) can give you motivation and enhance your performance. Other studies on drinking coffee before a workout can make you enjoy it more, and it also helps you burn more fat.
And, although you may not believe it, drinking chocolate milk is beneficial, too.
A study revealed that drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a workout aids with recovery as much as a commercial recovery drink – this is because the 4:1 carb to protein ratio stimulates muscle repair and helps restore energy.