In a day and age where technology is making things easy and making us lazy, one has no choice but to eat right to stay fit. Apart of being active diet is of paramount importance. We thought we’d share some of our food ideas with you. These recommendations are purely from personal experience and curious reading.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, both antioxidants that remove free radicals from your body. It helps lower blood pressure, which is important for athletes to maintain their heart health when participating in sports. They’re high in vitamin and mineral content and contain the levels of potassium, iron, manganese and copper athletes need for healthy muscles.
Oatmeal provides energy carbs for athletes and is fibre-rich. Helps you feel fuller and is will sustain you for longer. It’s 100 percent whole grain, helping to lower your risk of heart disease. It’s a great way to help you achieve your goal weight if you are looking to put on some weight. The instant oats have a higher glycemic index, which will cause your insulin levels to spike, causing you to end up storing the carbs as fat. Coarse oatmeal is preferable.
Milk is a great source of carbs and protein, which makes it a great for muscle recovery post-workout. Caffeine found in chocolate dilates the blood vessels, helping them to relax after a workout; hence chocolate milk is a good idea as well. When carbs and protein are consumed together, muscle tissues repair themselves more quickly than they do when consumed separately!
Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats. This is one of the most important constituents of athletes’ diets. In tandem with carbs, they help level out your blood sugar and sustain the carbs over a longer period of time, rather than burning them off right away. They’re also easier to digest and don’t upset your stomach when consumed in moderate quantities. Another plant-based protein, nuts are rich in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin E. The contain anti-inflammatory nutrients and hence are great for bone health, which is needed by every athlete. They lower the bad cholesterol, in turn making it great for heart health.
Bananas are an excellent low-calorie post-workout snack. They are an excellent source of natural electrolytes and also high in potassium. Eating one banana will help you regulate your fluid intake. It will also protect you from muscle spasms or cramps.
Pasta is a great source of good carbs. Not all carbs are bad! In fact, they’re an important part of the athlete’s diet. Straight carbs act as a fuel for the active person. While the body burns fat and protein, it must first convert them into carbohydrates, making the body work harder. Pasta contains fiber, which can cause gastrointestinal stress, so don’t overdo it before a big sporting event where you are participating. Whole grain pasta typically contains less sugar than white pasta, which can also help athletic performance.
Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are just a handful of the delicious berries that are rich in antioxidants, which need to be replenished after physical activity. Darker berries contain phytochemicals and other protective elements that prevent oxidative stress that occurs in the body during strenuous activities. As you age, they preserve muscle strength, so they’re good for the long term.
Salmon is this oily fish which is packed with lean, muscle-building protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces the inflammation that can happen with continual athletic activity. It is a natural artery cleanser, helping to prevent heart disease, which can affect even the most active people. Get creative and enjoy salmon in burgers, salads or pastas to get the recommended eight ounce serving per week.
Beans/Legumes are great for Vegetarians looking to get their fill of plant-based protein. Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans – all varieties are great! Have it in a salad or cook them and consume them. Unlike meat, beans and legumes don’t have saturated fat and contain fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer.
Dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, as well as broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to boost your athletic abilities. They also contain high levels of vitamins A, K and B6, and calcium and iron, all of which protect the body against inflammation. Iron also means more oxygen being supplied to working muscles. Kale contains carotenoids and flavonoids, two power antioxidants, and fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.
Radishes, watermelon, bell peppers, spinach, celery, dates and oranges are just a handful of the refreshing hydrating foods you can eat to replenish your lost fluids. These are a great supplement to water.
Flaxseed, Olive and Coconut Oil are great for health. The monounsaturated fats found in olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties, which athletes need when putting so much stress on their bodies. Flaxseed oil contains omega-3s, which is also anti-inflammatory, to help recover quickly with bumps and bruises. It also contains fiber and protein. Coconut oil is filled with medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can help with your endurance during a grueling workout. The MCTs in coconut oil can also help with metabolism and energy from fat.
Cherries are antioxidant-filled fruits. They aid in preventing muscle pain after running. It reduces inflammation, which is what causes such striking pain. Many athletes consume cherry juice as another way to lower exercise-based muscle damage, which can help reduce soreness.
Whey Protein contains essential amino acids. Easily absorbed by the body. No fat and cholesterol. Hence an ideal formula for athletes to consume. Whey contains the levels of protein and amino acids necessary to rebuild muscles and protects against muscle breakdown.
High performance depends on good eating habits. High protein, vitamins and fibre enhance performance.
Eat right > Ply a sport or two > Stay fit > Live a long healthy life!