10 Nutrient-Packed Foods To Improve Athletic Performance: Fuel Your Performance

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 Being a sportsperson is not easy in any way. It also includes having a strong body to match the athletic performance they need to put on display. However, it is not an easy task. Along with regular exercises and resistance training, you need to eat properly. Foods are not only to taste but also to get energy. A sportsperson’s diet should be carefully picked which is a mammoth task. As a nutritionist, it could not be as simple as one thinks. In such a scenario, we are here to help you. We are going to enumerate 10 foods to improve athletic performance

10 foods to improve athletic performance

The ability to excel in a sport or physical activity can be defined as athletic performance.  Athletes are keen to develop various skills through rigorous training and proper diet. The 10 super foods to improve athletic performance include-

Foods To Enhance Athletic Performance

1. Whole eggs

These need no introduction as they are full of proteins. The amino acids in them can not only build muscles but also repair muscle tissues which are prone to wear and tear when you are an athlete. Additionally, the B Vitamins in them can help metabolize energy to sustain longer performance hours. Choline in eggs is known to improve cognitive strength which is important to aid in skill and techniques. Whole eggs can be consumed as whole or as omelets and poached along with beans and meat.

2. Greek Yogurt

It is a popular dairy product that has traction recently. Its popularity can be attributed to the abundance of protein. Proteins are eaten to get lean muscles. It can not only help muscle growth but also improve holistic performance. Moreover, probiotics are essential to developing gut bacteria and strengthening one’s bones which can increase their stamina. It is usually consumed post-workout or pre-workout to exercise with all the might.

3. Milk

Ever since childhood, we are asked to drink milk to grow and that is especially true when you want to increase your athletic zeal. Calcium and Protein can build muscles and repair them. Apart from these, Vitamins help in the absorption of Vitamin D which is hard to digest otherwise. Using them as a healthy drink with delicious fruits and nuts could be helpful in multiple ways.

4. String cheese

Most people view cheese to be problematic in every way. However, this is not true. String cheese is an excellent source of snacks that can help you build a strong body. Athletes are prone to having brittle bones or breaks and that is when they need copious amounts of Vitamin D and Calcium.

5. Lean red meats

Lean red meats including beef are known to be nutritious in every way. Eggs are an excellent source of protein but lean red meats are known to be high-quality protein. Its potential doesn’t stop there. It has a lot of iron which helps transport oxygen which is often necessary when an athlete runs and stops at the drop of a hat. The zinc in lean red meats can help heal wounds as they are prone to it. Lastly, creatinine which is often consumed as a supplement to enhance performance also finds its place in lean red meat.

6. Poultry

Though not only parts, tender chicken meat can be helpful. It is a galore of Vitamin B, Proteins, Minerals, and Tryptophan.  All these can boost metabolism, improve bone density, take healthy cholesterol, and even help heal the body. You can cook or boil it. However, you should be careful about the fat and oil content in them.

7. Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids don’t let the free radicals radicalize and promote recovery. Running and rigorous exercise can impact the heart of an athlete in multiple ways and eating fish could be a good option to prevent it. Additionally, it can affect your brain positively to enhance memory, cognition, and coordination. Boiling fish or eating natural supplements can be extremely rewarding.

8. Spinach

Being a green leafy vegetable, it stands out particularly from this list. Unlike its counterparts, it is not a source of protein but Vitamins, Minerals, Iron, and antioxidants.  Besides preventing oxidization, it could also work towards enhancing the capacity of the body to build muscles and digest nutrients efficiently. Adding it to salads as toppings or boiling it to make an assortment could be the best way to make it a part of your meal.

9. Nuts and seeds

Weight Watchers love them but it is not unpopular in the athlete circle either. Despite being low in calories, it is a fine source of protein with no additions of alcohol making it healthy. Moreover, the fiber and antioxidants in them can help smoothen the digestion process which is often hampered due to irregular meal times. Seeds and nuts can be added to smoothies or oatmeals to get the best result possible.

10. Bananas

Bananas are the powerhouse of nutrition and can never be underestimated. They not only are a good choice to be eaten as a breakfast meal but also when hunger cravings hurt you. As an athlete, your body should be your temple and bananas treat them like one. The Zinc, Iron, Calcium, and phosphorus are second to none which makes it a delicious treat. You could eat bananas as a whole or even slice them into your breakfast bowls. Making it a part of your smoothie could also be a refreshing experience.

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Conclusion

Athletes have a tough schedule when compared to other individuals. Not only do they need a sharp mind but a stronger body which is often difficult to achieve. However, with dedication, hard work, and a proper diet, it is not unachievable. They must also try to hydrate themselves to prevent muscle leakage and take complete hours of rest to help the body restore its lost vivacity. To increase their skills and coordination techniques using seeds as snacks is good too. All the foods listed above should be alternatively or daily part of your diet if getting a healthy body is your target.

References

  • Burke LM, Meyer NL, Pearce J. National nutritional programs for the 2012 London Olympic Games: A systematic approach by three different countries. In: van Loon LJC, Meeusen R, editors. Limits of Human Endurance. Vol. 76. Vevey, Switzerland: Nestec Ltd; 2013. pp. 103–120. (Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series). [PubMed]
  • Jeukendrup A. A step towards personalized sports nutrition: carbohydrate intake during exercise. Sports Med. 2014;44(Suppl 1):S25–S33. [PMC free article]
  • Bergström J, Hermansen L, Hultman E, Saltin B. Diet, muscle glycogen and physical performance. Acta Physiol Scand. 1967;71(2):140–150. [PubMed]

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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