Foods improving your athletic performance II

Berries, Nuts & Co

There are certain foods that can help you build strength, sustain energy and recover faster. This is the second part of the list of foods you should include in your menu, when exercising.

 

Read the first part here

 

7. Beets

Rich in iron, beets are great for your heart and circulatory system. According to recent studies, the nitrates that beets contain can help increase athletic performance and endurance by allowing the body to burn energy while using less oxygen. This helps reduce the overall oxygen consumption and decreases the time it takes an athlete to reach exhaustion. Include beets and beet juice in your diet a few days before your marathon to reap all its benefits.

 

8. Turmeric

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the joints and prevents oxidative damage during exercise. It is a natural aid against muscle pain and soreness after an intense exercise. Add it to your curry and stew or to your freshly pressed juice.

 

9. Pomegranates

The phytonutrients pomegranates contain can improve the recovery after exercise, as they also act as anti-inflammatory agents. Eat more pomegranates to help reduce muscle weakness and soreness – a great food when training for a marathon.

 

10. Apple

Rich in phytochemicals, such as quercetin, a flavonol that could help improve performance and endurance and reduce inflammation, apples are a great snack when working out. Rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins, they will give you’re a nutritional boost and more energy.

 

11. Nuts and nut butter

They are a staple in many athletes’ diets because of their combination of protein and healthy fats. Combined with complex carbs they can help balance the blood sugar level by delaying its transformation into energy, thus giving you more sustainable energy for a longer time. Add some peanut or almond butter to your whole-wheat toast for more endurance during your workout.

 

12. Berries

Berries are rich in anti-oxidant vitamins, such as vitamins A, C and E. They help protect the body from free radicals and oxidative stress during strenuous physical activity. Eating lots of berries can also help preserve muscle strength. Choose organic berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, as they contain lots of phytochemicals and protective substances.

 

16. Maca

A root found in Peru, you can find maca mostly in powdered form. Another vegetable rich in iron, it helps transport oxygen in your blood. It also contains calcium – needed for healthy bones and muscle function, and proteins, which are great for muscle recovery and energy production.

 

17. Quinoa

Often described as a super food, quinoa contains almost twice as much protein than other whole grains, making it a great choice for athletes. It also contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Protein is needed to build lean muscle and recover from intense workouts. Great source of fiber and carbohydrates too, this versatile grain is a great food choice to improve your athletic performance.

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About the author

Vesela Savova

My name is Vesela and I am a Holistic Nutritional Consultant. I share healthy recipes and nutritional advice on my website www.platefulnutrition.co and help my clients adapt a healthy lifestyle through nutritional assessments, cooking workshops, recipe and meal plan developments and more. I am also a mother of a two year old toddler and I am passionate in encouraging healthy eating habits in children from weaning. I believe that the sooner in life we build good, healthy eating habits, the easier it is to keep them and stay as healthy as possible. Being a mom has helped me in this regard, as I can not only put my knowledge into practice, but I am also confronted with the struggles every parent experiences while raising their children. This has made me more aware of how the example we give to our children as well as our interactions with them can subtly influence the success of our intentions.