Food and nutrition play important parts of an athlete’s performance. Although we’re all aware of how food fuels our bodies that allow them to be fully functional, athletes and active people need to also consider proper nutrition.
The notion that a certain weight, waist size, build, or body mass index determines the overall health condition is a myth that has long been debunked by scientists and experts.
Just because a person appears to be physically fit doesn’t automatically make him or her healthy. There have been numerous instances where those who seemed least likely to suffer or perish from chronic illnesses and nutrition-related sickness have become casualties in the nutrition war.
For this reason, we should all seriously consider what we put inside our tummies. It’s not just about having a tummy ache that requires a visit to your family gastroenterologist. It has to do with how it affects your physiognomy.
Most especially, athletes need to be mindful of what they regularly consume because their food will directly affect their performance.
Types of Foods Athletes Should Eat Lots Of
While there are a lot of healthy food types that athletes can choose from, we have taken the liberty of listing down a few that we highly recommend for athletes to include in their diet.
Continuous athletic activities can cause muscle inflammation. Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids and proteins that help build muscles can also help reduce the chances of inflammation from taking place. This shouldn’t be a big deal to athletes as salmon is a tasty fish prepared in numerous delicious ways.
- Legumes and Beans
What’s great about legumes and beans is that athletes who are meat-eaters and vegetarians can enjoy and benefit from the plant-based proteins they possess. One other advantage over meat is that they contain more fiber, making one feel fuller for a longer period.
Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants. Darker berries contain phytochemicals that help prevent oxidative stress that takes place during strenuous activities. They’re also great for the body in the long run as they help preserve muscle strengthas one grows older.
When going on a diet, the first thing that most folks get rid of is carbohydrates. However, not all carbs are bad. In fact, we all need a certain amount of carb intake daily, and it is an essential element in any athlete’s diet. Pasta is a great source of carbs for the hard-working athlete. Just don’t go overboard with it, or else it will not do you any good.
- Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy veggies such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, and spinach contain large amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help the body recuperate and boost its athletic abilities even further. Why do you think Popeye always had his spinach?
Other than being a great source of potassium, bananas are also an excellent source of electrolytes. Natural electrolytes need to be replenished after a strenuous activity such as a sports event or an intense workout. Eating bananas after a game or workout helps replace the lost electrolytes.
Another great source of protein and carbs is milk. It is an ideal post-workout drink because it helps in muscle repair and recovery. It is also rich in calcium, which strengthens the body’s skeletal system.
Nuts are a healthy snack alternative that is high in healthy fats and protein. If they are paired with carbs, they help sustain carbs in the body for an extended period, and they help regulate the body’s blood sugar level.
- Sweet Potatoes
Just because athletes should be mindful of their diets doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy simple treats such as sweet potatoes. Who can resist them? Besides being tasty, they are rich in vitamins A and C that get rid of free radicals in your body and help keep your blood pressure low, which is very important for the heart, especially during sporting events. Sweet potatoes also contain high levels of iron, manganese, potassium, and copper that athletes require to build and retain healthy muscles.
- Hydrating Foods
Any physical activity, especially intense workouts, makes the body lose plenty of its natural fluids. While drinking Gatorade and other similar sports drinks help replenish it, a healthier alternative is to consume hydrating foods such as watermelon, radishes, celery, spinach, oranges, and dates, to name a few.
When it comes to food and nutrition, athletes should hold themselves to a higher standard to ensure optimum performance and peak physical condition in and out of season.
Meta Title: Types of Foods that Athletes Should Ingest
Meta Description: Food and nutrition play important parts of an athlete’s performance. Athletes should hold a higher standard for optimum performance and peak condition.