Food is the fuel for the body that helps an athlete to perform efficiently and to their best ability. Without food, an athlete would lack strength to power themselves and the endurance to keep pushing through. Moreover, there wouldn’t be nutrient to support the overall performance of the body, so, your body would most likely feel very weak at most times. Eating the right thing is much more than just trying to fit in to your favourite team’s basketball jerseys. Eating healthy and dieting is about representing those custom basketball jerseys to your very best and being an outstanding athlete.
For an athlete to get the best out of his or her athletic capabilities and workouts, he or she must give diet the highest priority in his or her fitness efforts. This is because food gives immediate strength for workouts and also replenishes those nutrients that are lost during training and exercise.
However, there are lots of foods and supplements in the market such that choosing the right one for an athlete is not always easy. Not all foods out there are beneficial to athletes. In fact, some are detrimental to their body system and athletic performances.
If you are an athlete, here are some foods that are a must for you. These foods will help you to optimize your athletic performance both on the field and at the gym.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as leafy greens, Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, etc. are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants needed to boost your athletic performance. Cruciferous vegetables are also high in iron, calcium, Vitamins A, K, and B6, which all help to protect the athlete’s body against inflammation. Iron helps to get more oxygen supplied to the muscles and fibres in the vegetables helps to lower the cholesterol level in the body. Moreover, Kale contains two power antioxidants – flavonoids and carotenoids – which are useful in the athlete’s body.
Bananas are low in calories and rich in natural electrolytes, which help to regulate your body fluid and also protect you from muscle cramps or spasms.
Though you need to be mindful of your carb intake, not all carbs are actually that bad. The truth is that carbs are a vital part of the athlete’s diet. When the athlete’s body consumes protein and fat, the body needs to first convert them into carbs. So, consuming carbs directly supplies the athlete’s body with fuel faster. Pasta contains fibre, taking much of it can cause gastrointestinal stress. So, don’t consume too much of any type of pasta if you would be working out, playing or competing soon. Moreover, consume more of whole grain pasta than white pasta, because they are low in sugar and can help your athletic performance.
Every athlete needs protein and deriving protein from vegetables (plant-based protein) is much more beneficial to the athlete’s health than from meat. Beans/legumes like lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, etc. offer the necessary protein needed by an athlete. Moreover, unlike with meat, beans/legumes only contain fibre and not saturated fat, which helps an athlete to feel fuller for a long time. So, if you are an athlete, add beans/legumes to your salad, chilli and stew.
Salmon is an oily fish, which is packed omega-3 fatty acids, muscle-building protein, and lean. All of these helps to reduce any inflammation that may occur due to continued athletic activities. Salmon also has artery cleansing ability and helps to prevent heart disease, which can affect anyone. It is recommended to get about an 8-ounce serving of Salmon per week, which means that you can enjoy Salmon in your pasta, salads, and burgers.
Berries – blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries – are very rich in antioxidants, which are needed by an athlete to replenish those lost in the body after physical activities. Generally, darker berries contain chemical substances known as “phytochemicals” as well as other protective substances that prevent oxidative activities that take place in the athlete’s body during strenuous athletic activities. Berries also preserve muscle strength, so they’re good for athletes.
Other foods, which are a must for an athlete, include nuts, milk, hydrating foods (oranges, dates, celery, spinach, bell peppers, watermelon, Radishes, etc.), sweet potatoes, oatmeal, Whey Protein, Coconut, Olive, and Flaxseed oil, and Cherries, etc.
Remember poor eating habits leads to poor athletic performance. Eating any of the foods listed above will provide you with the necessary energy-boosting and restorative properties needed to stay healthy and put your body through endurance activities and exercise.
At the end of the day, being a great athlete doesn’t come down to the way you look or the clothing you wear. You don’t need to keep an eager eye out on all types of sneaker news just to see which of the upcoming sneaker releases you should purchase. Eat well, train well and be disciplined and you will succeed as an athlete in a highly competitive world. Make preparation and perseverance a priority.