Running, cycling, swimming, rowing, and the list goes on. Every sport has its unique characteristics that require specific types of training and practice. However, what we put in our bodies is just as important as what we do with our bodies to become better athletes. To help you properly fuel your body for successful training and competition, we’ve highlighted six must-have superfoods to include in your meal-planning.
- Cherries – This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rich fruit is a perfect follow-up to a long run or intense work out. Their versatility also makes them ideal—they can top a bowl of oatmeal, blend into a smoothie, toss in a salad, or go solo!
- Bananas – Also full of anti-inflammatory goodness, bananas help you feel satiated, balance blood sugar, and are a great source of electrolytes. They are also the most portable fruit out there.
- Chia seeds – Fiber, iron, calcium, protein, antioxidants—why did we ever spread these amazing seeds on Homer Simpson’s head? Sprinkle them on just about anything or toss into your post-workout drink for a great recovery boost.
- Sweet Potatoes – Another great antioxidant, sweet potatoes are also high in manganese and copper, essential minerals for proper muscle function. Leave off the sugar and butter. Instead, top with barbecue or include them in other delicious recipes.
- Wild Salmon – This nutrient rich protein is an athlete’s best friend. To get the most from your salmon, always choose wild over farmed when you can. Not only will the proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids give you a boost, but a weekly serving has been shown to decrease the risk of a variety of cardiovascular issues.
- Whey – This protein packs a punch! It is the fastest digesting protein, making it ideal for a post-workout supplement mixed into a fruit and veggie smoothie. It also contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Check the label—many brands load up with sugar or dilute the protein per serving with other additives.
Next time you hit up the grocery store, make sure these items are on the list. A properly fueled body will help ensure you get the most out of your workouts and perform at your best in competition. Let us know: What food do you consider a must for all athletes? What foods should athletes avoid at all costs? Join the conversation below. Let us know how your diet impacts your performance and sign up to stay updated on all the latest from #ITSTHENERVE.
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