I love when people tell me I have great skin and I look younger than my years. While I certainly have my parents to thank for my genes, I will screw my genetic gifts up in a heartbeat if I eat a diet that promotes inflammation, both inside and out.
When you are very physically active you know that inflammation will slow your training. Soreness after exercise is actually a sign that your muscles are strengthening. But if inflammation moves forward unchecked recovery is stymied and training effects may regress.
Acne and skin blemishes are most often a result of inflammation. If you are a young athlete prone to skin issues from hormone changes affecting your skin then you are particularly susceptible to the impact of diet. What you eat not only can help your body recover from exercise, but it can also help care for your skin.
Sometimes it's not what you eat, but what you don't eat that may have the most powerful effect. Bacteria love sugar. You know this because your dentist tells you that when you eat sugar it feeds the bacteria in your mouth to promote cavities and gum disease. The same is true in your intestines. A diet high in sugars can result in bacterial overgrowth and inflammation in your gut. As your body responds to the inflammation the chemistry of your body changes, and this can lead to changes on your skin. Also, high levels of circulating blood sugar reach the bacteria that naturally live in the pores of your skin, over feeding them and leading to more inflammation on your skin.
You need carbs to fuel your exercise but you don't need sugar. Plant foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, starchy vegetables and whole grains give you the natural carbs that are also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that support your training and heal your skin.
Beverages that depend on loads of sugar are wicked for your health, inside and out. Inflammation will slow your training and boost your blemishes. Energy drinks, sodas, sugar-sweetened teas and even large servings of juice drinks are very high in sugar.
Water is always an excellent choice. If you are looking for a flavored beverage or functional drink, choose from the list below for very low or no sugar added options.
SOLIXIR Solixir Restore: Chicago-based Solixir is an all natural, functional drink brand that created Restore. Solixir’s Restore is aimed to help restore the body’s immune system. Restore's effective amounts of all natural ingredients without added sugars not only revive, but work to restore your immune system, making it preventative as well. These botanicals include Ginger Root, European Elderflower and European Elderberry.
REV3 Rev3 Energy is an advanced formula of antioxidants, important nutrients, and natural caffeine derived from a blend of teas —all packed into a lightly sweet, tasty beverage. Rev3 Energy comes in two unique formulas with two delivery systems: Rev3 Energy and Rev3 Energy Surge Pack.
FRS LOW CAL HEALTHY DEFENSE FRS Zingy citrus and tangy pomegranate create this mouth watering and thirst quenching Low Cal Citrus Pomegranate Healthy Energy drink that’s packed with essential vitamins and powerful antioxidants.
VITARGO Vitargo S2, is an evidence-based, patented, engineered starch, a sugar-free carbohydrate for fueling (before and during) and recovery (after) for any intense training or competition.