There are some foods that should be taken by athletes and sport enthusiasts because they contain special components that provide different benefits and help them to remain fit. Given below is information of 11 foods that is great for athletes:
1. Honey is great for endurance
It is proved by researches that honey if taken by athletes prior to exercise gives time-released fuel and helps maintain the blood sugar and insulin levels for a long period of time. Honey is a natural sweetener which also increases power, speed, and endurance.
2. Pea protein to reduce muscle fatigue
Pea protein is beneficial in many ways which are given below:
- It contains chain amino acids, compounds that have proved in reducing fatigue during exercise.
- Arginine is also present in it which increases immunity.
- Lysine increases calcium absorption and reduces calcium losses to assist keep bones strong.
It can be easily consumed by adding it into almond milk, a dollop of almond butter, cinnamon, and frozen cherries or berries.
3. Beet juice is good for increasing stamina
Beet juice is proven to increase energy levels and stamina, so if an athlete wants to increase their performance then they have to get some fresh beets and make juice from them. Other than that, bottled beet juice can also be consumed which can be taken as is, or can be blended to make a smoothie.
4. Blueberry is effective in decreasing inflammation
Blueberry is effective in decreasing inflammation and it increases natural killer cells which are a type of white blood cells that increase immunity when taken regularly. If you don’t want to take them fresh, you can purchase dried or frozen blueberries.
5. Tart cherries work great in coping with pain and getting strength back
A research was done on a group of men who were given tart cherries juice on daily basis. After 2 weeks, they showed a significant decrease in pain. Fresh tart cherries are available in late summer season, but frozen and dried cherries are available throughout the year which can be taken to get the same benefits as of the juice.
6. Salmon is effective in building muscle
Other than helping in building muscles, salmon is effective in other ways also which are given below:
- The Omega-3 fatty acids present in fatty fish such as salmon are great to cope with heart disease and getting rid of type 2 diabetes.
- Individuals using fish oil showed improved muscle development as it is seen that their bodies used twice the amount of amino acids to build new protein tissues than the person who is not consuming it.
Taking salmon several times a week is effective. You can also try taking salmon jerky as a portable snack.
An algae-based source of Omega-3 is also great for consumptin if a person feels that they cannot eat salmon.
7. Watermelon to decrease muscle soreness
Citrulline is a natural substance present in the white rind of watermelon that assists in relieving muscle soreness and another benefit includes improved artery function and decreased blood pressure.
8. Pomegranate is effective in recovering muscle strength
The antioxidants in pomegranate are effective in increasing memory and brain activity but now it has been proved by research that it also improves muscle recovery.
Pomegranate is a winter fruit but it is also available in frozen form which can be purchased anytime of the year.
9. Coffee is great for getting energy
The body’s storage form of carbohydrates is replenished speedily when athletes consume both carbs and caffeine after an exhaustive exercise routine and it is proved that packing more fuel and energy in the muscles is great for the next time training, as it improves the ability of an individual to exercise harder or for longer time periods.
10. Watercress is outstanding for decreasing DNA damage
Research has proved that athletes who take watercress before exercising can avoid or decrease the exercise-induced DNA damage. Watercress is useful in making a salad base and another way of taking it is to whip it into a smoothie.
11. Dark chocolate is effective in decreasing exercise-induced stress and tension
A research conducted in which athletes were given dark chocolate before exercise showed that dark chocolate makes blood antioxidant levels high and makes exercise-induced cell stress low.
If a person cannot eat it as it is then it can be taken by melting and pouring over fresh fruit.