When it comes to being fit and healthy, it simply can’t be denied that athletes are some of the fittest and healthiest people on the entire planet. They take their training very seriously. They’re disciplined, they have a sleeping schedule, a training schedule, an eating schedule, and a healthy and balanced diet plan too. Yes, when it comes to fitness and overall athletic performance, what you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym or at the athletics track. Despite what some people may tell you, you can’t afford to eat junk foods, ungodly amounts of calories, and still perform at the absolute best of your abilities while out on the running track. Athletes need to consume healthy and balanced foods which can help them get the most out of their training. Many of these foods for athletes are easy to come by, very effective and beneficial.
Quinoa – This super whole-grain seed contains twice as much protein as any other grain, making it an ideal protein source for vegetarians. Protein is essential for protein synthesis, which helps ensure that our muscles grow and repair themselves following extensive training sessions. The main reason that athletes consume quinoa however, and this includes meat eaters and vegetarians, is the fact that it contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies require, a feat that no other food is able to achieve.
Salmon – Salmon is an oily fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are extremely healthy and beneficial for our bodies for a whole variety of reasons. One of which is the fact that they possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the muscles and muscle tissue, which can hinder athletic performance. The healthy fats also act as a fantastic source of fast-release energy, and the salmon itself is another great source of protein and amino acids.
Pasta – Pasta is an athlete’s best friend, namely because it’s such a fantastic source of carbohydrate. When we exercise, our bodies use carbohydrates as fuel, so the more we consume, the more energy we’ll be able to produce. Many athletes actually eat large quantities of pasta the night before a big event, as this saturates their bodies with glycogen fuel for energy, working basically on the same principle as filling your car full of fuel the night before heading out on a long journey the next day.
Bananas – Bananas are low in fat, are a great source of the mineral potassium, and are a fantastic source of electrolytes and carbohydrates. Bananas are especially effective for athletes as we lose potassium in our sweat, which actually is responsible for regulating fluids and ensuring the muscles don’t cramp up or go into spasm.
Organic peanut butter – Organic peanut butter is great for athletes for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a great source of protein thanks to the peanuts. Secondly, it’s also a great source of energy as it contains healthy natural peanut oil fats, which the body uses for energy. Fat is the body’s preferred energy source, meaning that it will use the fat from a meal as energy first, before it gets around to using the carbohydrates. Oh, and there’s also the fact that it tastes amazing too.