An enduring performance can only be delivered by an energetic-enough athlete. Here is a list of 10 superfoods that every athlete must include in his/her diet.
Top 10 Super Foods For Athletes
This fast cooking grain is a rich source of good number of nutrients. Native to South America, quinoa has been in use since ancient times as a stamina increasing food. Quinoa empowered the warriors to run for longer distances than usual and in higher altitudes. Quinoa contains 9 amino acids and hence is also known as ‘complete protein’. Quinoa can serve as a primary protein source, especially for vegans. It is also rich in calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, etc. Being a gluten-free food, quinoa is easy to digest. It resembles the nuts in its flavor. It can be eaten in breakfast and in dinner.
Peanut butter is a great source of raw energy. But almond butter is a better alternative to conventional peanut butter. It contains a good number of nutrients such as calcium, folic acid, protein, fiber, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium. Apply some almond butter on grain toast and fruits and enjoy.
This is rich in fiber content as well as antioxidants. In addition, chia seeds contain protein, calcium, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds also have hydrophilic properties that enable them to absorb 12 times their capacity in water. In that case, the athlete remains hydrated for longer. Chia seeds help in regulation of nutrient absorption by the body by retaining moisture.
Walnuts are rich in B vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. They also contain anti-inflammatory agents that improve bone health. Walnuts have been beneficial for health of heart as they lower the ‘bad cholesterol’ i.e. LDL. So, snack on walnuts than those fried chips.
Also known as ‘complete protein’, whey protein contains all essential amino acids. It is very beneficial for the athletes as it is readily absorbed by the body. Whey protein is devoid of cholesterol. Athletes use it for fast recovery as it prevents muscle breakdown and helps in fast digestion.
Leafy greens such as collard greens, kale, swiss chard, etc. contain important nutrients and should be included in daily diet. They also contain nutrients that are required by endurance athletes. These nutrients are calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, etc. Another plus point of leafy greens is that they cook fast.
Salmon is essential for athletes for three reasons. It is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids and it does not make you feel slothful. Omega-3 fatty acids relieve arthritis pain, improve cardiovascular health, heal inflammation, improve oxygen transport and immune system, and burn excess fats. It also helps in maintaining muscle growth.
It is an incredible source of complex carbohydrates. It is readily digested and hence does not cause any discomfort such as intestinal gas. Garnish your oatmeal breakfast with fruits, nuts and cinnamon and plan for a great race.
A balanced mix of protein and calcium makes yogurt the best food to prepare athletes for workout. It is also good for recovery from workout. This superfood aids in digestion, has low fat content and is highly nutritious.
You might have seen athletes with a can of orange drink. Oranges are a constant source of energy. They contain vitamin C, natural sugar and fiber. Oranges also contain foliate that improve health of the heart.