Athletes, in particular endurance athletes, understand that eating healthy is important for optimal performance and fast recovery. Making the right decision at the table can have a big impact on just how long and strong you can go in a workout. “Super foods” is a term used to identify foods with added health benefits. Here are the top five super foods that every endurance athletes should consider adding to their daily diet.
Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate high in soluble fiber. Many don’t know but oatmeal is also an excellent source of protein. But there is a lot more to Oatmeal. Oatmeal is recommended for athletes for many reasons. First of all, it is a good source of Magnesium. Magnesium is mineral that helps to relieve from sore muscles, stimulate muscle repair and regrowth. Oatmeal is also rich in Vitamin B. Vitamins B are necessary for a healthy metabolism, energy and muscle function. And last but not least, Oatmeal is an iron rich food. And athletes need iron to maintain energy.
Kale is powerhouse vegetable that contains many beneficial properties for athletes. Kale is an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamins K, A, and C. One cup of kale offers only 35 calories, 5 grams of fiber and no fat. Its phytonutrients have been linked to prevent cancer.
Milk still reigns in at number one as an ideal post exercise and muscle recovery beverage for endurance athletes. Milk is a rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. Milk is rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body, thus providing almost immediate energy during and replenishes quickly post exercise.
Another beneficial property is that when carbohydrates and proteins are consumed together, muscle tissues tend to be repaired at a much faster rate than if consumed alone.
Bananas have been a long time favorite among athletes. They are one of the best pre- and post- workout snacks. Bananas are best known for being an excellent source of potassium. Potassium plays a key role in muscle recovery and soreness. It also helps regulate body water and promotes healthy bones. But there is more. Bananas are also rich in Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have rapidly become the most popular of the super foods among athletes. Chia seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron and protein. They also contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have been identified as the food that helps to provide sustained energy, to fight deshydratation, to accelerate recovery and to increase weight loss.
What makes chia seeds so popular among athletes is that it a nutrient dense food. For example, in just two tablespoons, chia seeds offer 10 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more antioxidants than blueberries and more omega-3 than salmon.