Shutterstock.com

If you’re an athlete looking to maximize performance, you know how important nutrition is when it comes to complimenting all the hard work you put into your workouts. While it’s okay to indulge in cheat days every once in a while, junk food and other foods high in sugar should not be your go-to for every meal. Good nutrition improves strength, boosts muscle recovery, builds lean muscle, and benefits your overall health.

Opt for foods that are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, proteins, and other essential vitamins instead. Not only will your body thank you, you will start to notice quicker and better results.

10 Foods for the Athlete’s Diet

The following 10 foods are a must for every athlete to include in their diet. Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand when it comes to performance and overall health.

1. Oatmeal

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Rich in fiber to keep you feeling full and high in carbs to fuel your energy levels, oatmeal is helpful in absorbing fat and cholesterol and keeps your heart healthy.

Oatmeal is a healthy food you can add into your protein shakes or enjoy as a breakfast option. Make sure to avoid the instant kind and look out for the steel cut oats which are 100% whole grain.

2. Blueberries

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Not only are blueberries a tasty option for dessert, they are packed with antioxidants that reduce the damage caused by free radicals during the oxidation process. This healthy fruit is rich in vitamins A, B, and C and boost overall performance during your workouts.

3. Omega-3 Eggs

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Eggs are one of the best foods for athletes as they are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do they promote strong muscles, eggs are also shown to promote good cholesterol in the body that is necessary to carry out certain body functions.

The amino acids in the eggs stimulate protein synthesis which further promotes muscle building and muscle recovery.

4. Salmon

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a good source of lean protein that fights inflammation and enables quicker muscle recovery in the process.

Consuming fresh salmon is much healthier (and tastier) than the pills, and adding this food to your diet can also lower the risk of developing heart disease in the future.

5. Bananas

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Easy to eat and easy to throw away, bananas are the no-mess, healthy snack you should have already been enjoying every day.

Bananas are a great food to snack on because the potassium-rich food helps to replenish this nutrient that is lost from the body as you sweat during exercise. With about 100 calories in a banana, this food also helps to lower blood pressure and is easy to digest.

6. Cruciferous Vegetables

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are packed with anti-oxidants and are extremely healthy for the body.

While broccoli can help fight the development of tumors, most of these veggies are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that reduce muscle soreness, arthritis pain, and chronic pain.

7. Olive Oil

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

The monosaturated fat and anti-inflammatory properties in olive oil can really come in handy to the athlete’s overall health.

Whether you spread it on your salad or use it as a base for cooking, olive oil is easy to add to your meals, delicious to eat, and one of the healthiest oils you can buy at the store.

8. Sweet Potato

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Rich in vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes can be enjoyed baked, mashed, lightly fried, or boiled. Packed with protein and some vitamin B, sweet potatoes are a great choice for athletes and a healthier alternative to other potatoes.

9. Chocolate Milk

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Low-fat chocolate milk might become your go-to drink post-workout. While the caffeine in chocolate works to relax the blood vessels, the carbs to protein ratio that chocolate milk comes with help promote muscle recovery.

10. Nuts

10 Must Have Foods in the Athletes Diet
Shutterstock.com

Although nuts are high in calories, they contain good nutrients and unsaturated fats that reduce inflammation, enhance muscle recovery, and fuel energy levels.

The high fiber snack can help to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time, thus, fighting the urge to reach for unhealthy snacks during the day.

The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.

References:

Top 15 Super Foods For Athletes. (2018, June 09). Retrieved from http://www.healthfitnessmag.com/Health-Fitness-Magazine/August-2008/Top-15-Super-Foods-For-Athletes/
MacMillan, A. (2016, November 16). Foods for a Fitter, Faster You. Retrieved from https://www.outsideonline.com/1869731/9-best-foods-athletes
DeHority, S. (2014, July 21). 12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat. Retrieved from http://www.stack.com/a/foods-athletes-should-eat