How Can Pumpkin Boost Your Performance in the Gym?
Susan Hoff
October 17, 2020

Pump up your workouts and expedite your post-workout recovery with pumpkin.

As you carve your pumpkins this year for Halloween, think twice before throwing away the pulp. While you do not need it to create a decent jack-o-lantern, you can turn it into a puree that will benefit your performance and recovery in the gym. This nutrient-packed vegetable provides high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber while containing minimal calories and carbs. 

Benefits

The more you sweat, the more electrolytes you lose. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium, to name a few, will diminish quickly if you do not refuel with the proper food or drink. Potassium is one of the biggest contributors to muscle function. When you hit the wall early on in your workout or feel muscle cramps after a workout, you may have not prepared for or restored your electrolyte balance. 


Pumpkin can help by loading you up on potassium. Instead of reaching for a banana, opt for the post workout pumpkin puree as one cup contains 100 more milligrams of potassium than a banana. You will better regulate your hydration and muscle contractions. 


By consuming pumpkin before or after your workout, you will make sure to finish strong and prevent any unnecessary cramping or pain after your workouts. Soreness is good. Cramping is bad. You can also push yourself harder, knowing that you have the proper sustenance for your body to refuel your electrolyte and glycogen stores as well as find and eliminate free radicals that attempt to damage your tissue, blood vessels, and cells.

How to Eat it

You can consume pumpkin products in many different ways this season. When you walk into your local Trader Joe’s, you will be able to find anything and everything in pumpkin flavors. However, pure pumpkin puree is the most beneficial for your health. Not the sugary, fake flavors that we have come to look forward to and love. I’m talking to you, pumpkin pie. Pick up a couple cans of pure pumpkin puree at the store and you can easily add it into your daily dietary rhythm. Here are a few recipes:


Overnight Oats

Mix in pumpkin to your overnight oats as a perfect pre-workout meal.

- ½ cup gluten free rolled oats

- 1 tsp. chia seeds

- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

- ¼ tsp. cinnamon

- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree

- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

- 1 tsp. pure maple syrup (optional for added sweetness)


Protein Shake

Shake up your protein with a scoop of pumpkin puree during your workout.

- ½ cup pumpkin puree

- 1 scoop protein powder

- Water or unsweetened almond milk


Smoothie

Blend all of the below ingredients together for a powerhouse post-workout pumpkin smoothie!

- ½ cup pumpkin puree

- ½ frozen banana

- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

- 1 Tbsp. flax meal

- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

- ½ tsp. cinnamon

Oath & Grind By Susan Hoff
Run fast, spin hard, lift heavy, work out like crazy. Whatever you do, Oath & Grind is the destination for all things fitness, nutrition, and life.
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