When it comes to enhancing athletic performance, helping you recover, building muscle mass and helping with overall fitness, few things are as important as what you fuel your body with. Honestly, the only thing just as important is your water intake!
It’s important to fuel your body with the right foods. Most of us know that it involves eating clean and avoiding foods that are bad for you. But, did you know that there are some sources of nutrition that can really enhance your workouts? Here are the top 11 things you should be consuming on a regular basis.
- Beet juice
Did you know the juice of this earthy root can be just as effective at giving you an energy boost as caffeine? Studies have shown that it can help people work 16% longer! Imagine how much more intensely you could work at the gym? In order to take advantage, simply juice some fresh beets with a juicer. Drink it straight, cut it with some lemon juice, or simply add it to your smoothies.
Honey has many benefits. One of these benefits include a steady source of fuel that steadies your blood sugar and insulin levels. Make sure to get USDA Certified Organic raw honey that is local to your area to also take advantage of the allergen fighting and immunity boosting properties. You can use it to sweeten up a beverage, mix it into your oatmeal, or simply enjoy a spoonful on its own.
- Pea protein
This has been super popular now. Pea protein powder is filled with branched chain amino acids, which are composites that can delay fatigue during exercise. Yellow peas provide arginine, which is known to enhance the body’s immune system. It also contains lysine, which helps maintain bone strength because it increases calcium absorption and decreases calcium losses. With one scoop you can get more than 25 grams of healthy, lean protein. Enjoy it with almond, coconut or soy milk or mix it in to your favorite healthy smoothie recipe.
Reduce inflammation and build your immunity with these small little berries. Not only do they reduce inflammation, but they boost the body’s white blood cells that play an important role in immunity. Enjoy them fresh in the summer months and make sure to freeze some for the winter. Add them to your oatmeal, smoothies, salads or just grab a handful as a snack on your way out the door.
- Tart cherries
cherry juice has been shown to have a significant effect on pain reduction after workouts. Available fresh in the late summer, you can freeze them yourself or go for the already frozen option. It’s also available as a juice, just make sure to pay attention to portion sizes!
We all know that lean proteins are important to our body. However, the omega-3 fatty acids that fatty fish like salmon contain can do everything from stave off type 2 diabetes to fight heart disease. Additionally, research shows that it can boost your muscles and their development. It’s best when it’s wild cut! If you don’t like seafood, look for omega-3s that come from algae.
This delicious fruit can prevent dehydration, which is why it is great for athletes and pregnant women to consume. But it also contains citrulline, which helps to improve the function of the arteries and lowers blood pressure. The rind is where most of this compound can be found!
This fruit of the gods is filled with antioxidants that help with memory and brain activity. Additionally, it has been shown to improve the recovery of the muscles. This fruit is found fresh in the winter, but frozen and juiced varieties can be found all year long. Take a small shot of 100% pomegranate juice on a regular basis and take advantage of these incredible benefits.
Most of us are extremely glad that this one makes the list! After all, it’s hard to function without our morning cup of joe. Studies have actually shown, however, that when athletes replenish themselves after a fitness routine with carbs and caffeine, glycogen levels are increased tremendously. This is a good thing, because that means that your muscles will store that energy and help fuel your next workout. You will be able to exercise stronger and longer the next day!
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is not only delicious, but it has a ton of great benefits. One of them is that it increases antioxidant levels and reduces stress cells that can accumulate after exercise. Enjoying some chocolate will be good for your body and soul! Seriously, chocolate is good for the soul.
Enhance your fitness routine with these foods. They are a tasty addition to a healthy diet that can give you a boost and that needed edge to take your workout routines and healthy lifestyle to a whole new level.