5 Foods All Athletes Need to Add to Their Diet

An athlete is only as good as the food that they put into their bodies. If you want perform at your best then you need to play close attention to your diet, that being said what foods should be included?  Here are 5 foods all athletes need to add to their diet.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are excellent sources of energy to get you through your day.  Whole grains are also perfect for just before you work out or compete at an event.

Nut Butters

Nut butters like almond butter or peanut butter are excellent sources of protein and good fats.  They are easy to take with you as a quick snack.  You can also grab other sources of protein such as cold cooked chicken, jerky or cheese.  All of them are great snacks for when you finish working out at the gym.  Protein helps your body to maintain your metabolism and it keeps your body from feeding on lean muscle when it needs energy.  If you are injured or experience muscle fatigue protein helps you to heal.

Fruits and Lots of Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are where you get all of your micronutrients along with vitamins and minerals.  They contain little or no fat while still providing energy and fiber.  Bananas and grapes help to maintain adequate levels of potassium in your body.  Athletes need to watch their potassium it is crucial for stabilizes muscle contraction, muscle cramps are usually a result of too little potassium.

Calcium Rich Food

While most athletes get their calcium from dairy you can also get it from leafy green vegetables as well.  That being said dairy not only provides you with calcium but it also provides proteins and essential fats.  Don’t eat dairy prior to performing it takes too long to digest.  If you happen to be lactose intolerant they get calcium from vegetables or consider trying a supplement.  Calcium is necessary for bone development it also helps to protect you from injury if you play contact sports.

Get Enough Fiber

Fiber is essential for regulating your digestive tract, and it helps to keep you feeling full.  You can fiber in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.  However as an athlete you should know which foods can help regulate the level of fiber.  Whole grains and fruits like berries or apples, nuts and legumes are all excellent sources of fiber.

Nutrition for Endurance Training

Every successful person has something extra that sets them apart from the crowd. Endurance athletes are no different else they will not be able to go that extra mile. Apart from the timing of their meals, endurance athletes require nutrients that help them all through the process of preparing for races to the recovery period after competing at events. The nutrition basics include:

  1. Carbohydrates: The nutrition for endurance training begins with the intake of carbohydrates. Considering the high-energy requirements of endurance athletes, the dependence on lots of carbohydrates as a source of fuel does not come as a surprise. The need to replace muscle glycogen means that the right amount of carbohydrates has to be taken.

How much carbohydrate an endurance athlete takes depends on the intensity of training being undergone. As expected, more intake of carbohydrate is required when an endurance athlete is on heavy training compared to periods of low-intensity training.

  1. Fats: Another nutritional requirement that works just fine for endurance athletes are fats. They are a source of energy for periods when they are resting and do not train much. Fats are not only great as a source of energy during such periods, but they also offer proper immune function. Typically, they are taken in conjunction with carbohydrates.

To optimize fats, endurance athletes are expected to get between 25 to 30 percent of their daily calories from fats. This includes the options of vegetable oils, avocados, fatty fish, and so on. Taken in the right proportion, endurance athletes not only get the calories they need, but they also enjoy immune protection.

  1. Proteins: As with most athletes, the consumption of protein is necessary for the many benefits the nutrient offers. They are obviously not a primary source of energy for supporting long training sessions but their value cannot be overlooked.

Proteins are great because of the protection they offer to endurance athletes. They support the development of an athlete’s muscles as well as enhance the recovery process after races. It is important that the right quantity is taken daily in order to remain in top shape and be able to compete effectively.

Endurance athletes know that training alone cannot keep them at the top of their game. Taking the right nutrient in the right quantity daily also plays its role. The nutrients on this list ensure that the calories required are provided in addition to getting the right amount of proteins for muscle development and recovery.