Getting in a daily sweat is a great way to keep your body healthy and help refresh your mind. But working out can work wonders for your skin too! Your body has a number of ways of removing toxins built up in the body, one of which is through sweating. Although it doesn’t portray us in our finest hour, sweating purges your skin of dirt, sebum, bacteria and other impurities you may have deeper in your skin. And yes, this stuff isn’t exactly good to have floating around on your skin’s surface so be sure to rinse off as soon as you can post training.
How does exercise nourish your skin
There’s no question a 30-minute squat and burn session will give you a moist brow and beetroot like complexion, but sweating goes hand in hand with vasodilation – the widening of your blood vessels. As your body heats up, you start to sweat to cool down. Vasodilation occurs when you exercise for a similar purpose. Your blood vessels, typically near the surface of your skin, will increase in diameter to increase the amount of heat you lose through radiation (think of opening the lid to your coffee outside in winter – you see more hot steam being lost, which cools the coffee down).
Exercise works to reduce your body temperature; but a great secondary effect is an increased delivery of oxygen and nutrient rich blood to your skin cells. This will allow them to repair, regenerate and remove free radicals from your skin faster – you really can squat your way to younger skin!
Nitric Oxide and Nutrient delivery
The chief conductor of this mechanism is nitric oxide. The compound is produced naturally by your blood vessels from amino acids in your body. But of course, one of the many, many joys of aging include the deteriorating ability of your blood vessels to dilate adequately. Aside from degrading collagen and elastin, reducing skin plumpness and overall glow, free radicals are also responsible for preventing your body from producing enough nitric oxide to cause effective vasodilation during exercise (because they hadn’t already done enough *ugh*).
Thankfully, you can supplement your body with antioxidants to negate free radical frolicking. Combine these with nitrate rich foods to provide your body with the ingredients it needs to produce enough of the workout friendly molecule nitric oxide! And to top it all off, you can even include ingredients rich in vitamin C to help increase the availability and absorption of nitric oxide by your body!
Check out the diagram below that summarises the best foods for each category mentioned above!
Give an even larger supply of oxygen and nutrients to your skin and whip up the super easy and utterly delicious smoothie and gulp it down about 45 minutes before you start training! A totally healthy energy boost to get the most out of your workout!
Pre-workout smoothie recipe
A handful of spinach
A handful of kale
Half a beetroot or beetroot powder (the less processed, the better)
Half a tablespoon of raw cacao powder
1 scoop of your favourite protein powder
Half a tablespoon of Raw Beauty Lab’s Vegan Collagen
About 200ml of your favourite nut milk
Blend it up and you’re good to gulp it down!
Don’t be afraid to change up the fruits and milks you use and experiment with the combinations – you never know when you’ll strike gold!