Diet plays an essential role in our day-to-day activities: from our mood, to energy levels, and to our overall mental and physical health. Many of us have set new fitness goals as part of our New Years Resolution, and it's important to consider a healthy diet in order to achieve those goals.
Eating for athletic performance does not have to be just after an intense workout or right before a big event, but it is something you can keep in mind for every meal and snack daily. Here are 5 key foods that help your athletic performance.
Berries such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E. These antioxidants protect against oxidative stress and free radicals that form in the body during strenuous physical activity. It is best to choose berries with the most intense colors because they contain more phytochemicals and protective substances. Add them to a smoothie, your morning cereal, or just eat them by the handful as a snack.
Did you know that one egg gives you approximately 10 percent of your daily protein needs? Egg protein is the most complete food protein that contains all the crucial amino acids your muscles need to promote recovery. Not only do you obtain a high dose of protein, but you'll also get about 30 percent of the daily value for vitamin K, which is important for healthy bones. Have a boiled egg itself, or add it to a healthy breakfast sandwich in the morning.
Put those sugary sports drink aside and have a banana which is an excellent source of natural electrolytes. This low-calorie fruit is high in potassium which can help protect you from muscle spasms or cramps. Makes the perfect snack, or add it to your low-fat yogurt.
This fish is filled with lean protein for muscle-build and omega-3 fatty acids which reduces inflammation that can happen with athletic activity. It is also a natural artery cleanser which aids in preventing heart disease. Add to your salad with a salmon fillet or enjoy a juicy salmon burger.
Not all carbs are bad! Carbohydrates are still the single most important component of an athlete's diet. Carbs act as the body's main source of fuel. Other food groups are used as fuel as well, but the body has to covert them into carbs first, which makes the body work harder. Whole-grain varieties are the best as they have more fiber and less added sugar.
Eating healthy to keep your athletic training in mind does not have to be difficult or expensive. Many of these foods may already be in your kitchen! To maximize your workouts and athletic capabilities, your diet should be a top priority.