If you are following certain bodybuilding food regime, than for sure you have seen the recommendations of including dried fruits and nuts in your meal plan. Dried fruits are fruits that have been through the process of dehydration, where all water is extracted from the fruits without damaging their initial nutritional value. In simple terms; when consuming dried fruits you are getting the same nutrients as the normal fresh fruit, just without the water.
What makes dried fruits so popular, is their convenience and applicability; whereas they can be carried everywhere, in your bag for example, and added in a combo with so many other foods. On the other hand, nuts are known for their high nutritional value and richness of healthy monounsaturated fats, which are crucial for the muscle building process and weight loss.
This article will address some key questions of the recommended amounts of dried fruits and nuts your body needs, and the best time frame for consummation.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Dried Fruits for bodybuilding
The first thing you need to take under consideration when consuming dried fruits is the amount of added sugar they contain. Most manufacturers add additional sugar in the dried fruit mix which is completely unnecessary, given the natural high fructose levels they contain initially.
Compared to dried fruits, nuts are high on the dosage of fats, especially in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Due to the high levels of fats, nuts should be consumed in moderate amounts, especially while on a diet.
The factor that connects dried fruits and nuts is antioxidants. Antioxidants are crucial for the natural process of the detoxification within the body; they reduce stress and improve the overall immune system.
Dried fruits and nuts fall under the category of high-calorie foods, but they are recommended for consummation due to the fact that they don’t affect the sugar levels of the body.
When to consume dry fruits ?
The typical bodybuilder`s food regime in general has two phases. First, we have the pre-show or pre-contest phase where the bodybuilder in question aims to lose excess body-fat by following a restrictive calorie food regime, and then we have the off-season phase, where the calorie intake is proportionally larger. At both phases, bodybuilders tend to seek out the best foods with high nutritional value from the aspect of nutrients in the calorie scheduled category they follow.
When the bodybuilder is in the pre-show phase, dried fruits are eliminated, or allowed in a very small amount. Some recommended options for this particular phase are: couple of prunes, nuts or small amount of peanut butter.
On the other hand when the bodybuilder goes through the off-season phase, dried fruits and nuts are highly welcomed and recommended food options. You can include up to three portions of dried fruits per day and choose from different options such as: bananas, apples, or certain all-in-one mixes.
You need to be aware that consuming one selection of dried fruits is a far better choice than variety of dried fruits. If you can’t satisfy your cravings with just one type of dried fruit, then at least opt for the same color. Upon opening the content, store the dried fruits in the fridge in order to keep their freshness for longer period of time. Fresh dried fruits are those that are still a little bit soft.
How much dry fruits should you eat per day ?
Well, that depends on your daily calorie recommendation. If you are bulking, a hand-full of dried fruits or nuts a day would be probably OK. When cutting, however, you will need to read the label and adjust the calories to your daily recommendation and use a smaller amount of these dry treats.
Add dried fruits and nuts to your breakfast, lunch and dinner choices, or just toss them into a blender and make yourself a tasty smoothie. Also, dried fruits and nuts are a perfect combo for before and after your bodybuilding workout, due to their high nutritional value.