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Food Facts

Pistachios may help your leanness. A recent University of California, Los Angeles, study found that subjects who ate the nuts every day reduced their body-mass indexes and triglyceride counts more than subjects who ate the identical number of calories but snacked on pretzels instead of the nuts.

Coconut water is a good source of potassium—two to three times that of a banana, depending on which brand you drink. According to the July ’11 Better Health, in about 12 ounces you get more than 550 milligrams of potassium, which can help balance your salt intake and prevent muscle cramps.

Resveratrol is a natural phenol found in wine—and it’s a potent booster of nitric oxide, which opens up blood vessels. You don’t have to drink wine before you work out to get a bigger pump, however; simply take a resveratrol supplement—about 200 milligrams. Resveratrol is also good for cardiovascular health.

Milk can be an excellent postworkout drink, especially chocolate. It has carbs and protein—plus it spikes your insulin to drive those nutrients into your muscles. By the way, that’s the very reason not to drink it before bed—insulin shuts down growth hormone production. Plus, no studies have confirmed that milk helps you sleep; there’s not enough tryptophan in a glass of milk to produce the relaxation effect.

—Becky Holman


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