Usain Bolt says pumpkins are best pre-workout snack - they're low-carb, and packed with nutrients
- Usain Bolt said his favourite pre-workout meal was pumpkins and yams.
- Pumpkins and yams are nutrient-rich sources of fibre and carbs.
- They also enhance muscle and nerve function and can improve vision.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Usain Bolt's historic Olympic performances were partially fuelled by an autumn favourite.
"I would have like yams and pumpkins and stuff like that. Those were the main things I tried to have before training" Bolt said in an interview about his new partnership with 3D dental printing technology company, SprintRay, which is providing dental care to underserved communities in his home country of Jamaica.
Pumpkins and yams are both relatively low-carb, and provide a good boost of energy ahead of a race or workout. Pumpkins, in particular, are low in calories, and nutrient-dense sources of fibre and protein, especially if the seeds are included in the meal.
As the day goes on, however, Bolt says he cuts out carbs altogether - ending his day with a light meal of greens and protein, which he says keeps him lean.
Pumpkins are low-calorie, and packed with nutrients that enable quick muscle contractions
Pumpkin is one of the most potassium-dense foods, which is the element most vital for heart and muscle function, and nerve impulses in our bodies.
The high potassium levels in pumpkins are accompanied by similarly high amounts of calcium and magnesium, filling the body with electrolytes which also help maintain quick nerve impulses and reactions, enable quick muscle contractions, and regulate the flow fluid in the body.
It is also low-calorie - with 30 calories per 1-cup serving, compared to 177 calories per 1-cup serving of yams.
Yams, similar to sweet potatoes, contain many of the same carbs, fibres, proteins, and nutrients as pumpkins, but with an extra dose of vitamin B6, which helps with digestion and metabolic health.
Bolt stops eating carbs after lunch
Bolt said that carbs are important sources of energy before his high-intensity workouts, but once he's done with the gym, he's done with carbs, particularly processed ones.
"I like dumplings, I love pasta, because I have to go gym with enough energy that I burn that off at night," Bolt said.
In the evening, though, "that's when I just have protein and vegetables, so I don't put on weight at night," he added.
"If you start eating dumplings and stuff [in the evening], you put [on] weight. So to avoid that, I just eat vegetables, mainly - maybe some mashed potatoes, but mainly vegetables and just protein, any kind of protein.
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