As summer draws closer, people are stepping up their work out routines to be in great shape for the sun-soaked months ahead. However, just increasing your workout will not get the desired results if you’re not taking in the appropriate nutrients.

Your body is very responsive to the nutrients it either takes in or lacks, so if you’re upping your workouts but not your intake, it will bring down your energy level and make you lethargic. This type of mood is not conducive to a beneficial workout.

Many of the nutrients you need in order to tone muscle are the same ones that are essential for your body as far as overall fitness. Here are a few examples of some of the nutrients you should be taking in to get the most out of your workouts.

  • Protein: Protein is likely the nutrient most associated with working out. It is key for building and toning your muscles, and will make your workouts more efficient. If you’re not taking in enough, this means that your muscles can’t develop in the way that they need to, which will result in much slower muscular development. Eat or drink protein (things like protein shakes are extremely convenient) after your workout for the best results.
  • Vitamin C: You may associate vitamin C with orange juice before workouts, but it’s extremely important for muscular tone. Vitamin C strengthens the blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which will make them more effective and recover faster. It also strengthens your immune system, so you don’t miss as many gym days due to nasty colds.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D affects most areas of you muscles, including contraction, strength, function and growth. It’s hard to get toned muscles if you’re missing out on the vitamin that enhances all things muscle.
  • Calcium: Parents don’t just tell their kids to drink their milk for no reason. Calcium plays a large part in maintaining healthy bones and muscles. Specifically, it is the nutrient that allows your muscles to contract, which they need in order to tone and to grow. Women specifically need to make sure that they are taking in enough calcium.

Through a good exercise routine and a nutrient inclusive diet, you’ll be toned and healthy by the time beach season rolls around.

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