Super Foods for Athletes

It is easy to see that wellness includes exercise. Our bodies and minds need to be active to stay healthy. Whether it is controlling our weight, heart rate, blood pressure, or building our strength, ACTIVITY is key. What may be less obvious is that our body needs to RECOVER after exertion. Today we will focus on 6 SUPER RECOVERY FOODS that athletes and active bodies need for optimal health. 

Here are the 6 SUPER Recovery Foods you should eat after a workout:

  1. Foods Rich in Protein Meat, Fish/Seafood, Dairy, Eggs, Tofu, Beans, Lentils. Protein helps maintain and build muscle, promotes bone health, and fights fatigue after exercise. It also boosts metabolism and fat-burn. Protein helps the body after injury – including muscles that have been torn down/are being rebuilt to be stronger due to exercise.
  2. Foods Rich in (Complex) Carbohydrates Beans, Oats, Quinoa, Whole Wheat, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots. Carbs give us energy, but complex carbohydrates contain more nutrients, fiber, and take the body longer to digest-giving us energy for longer (with less blood sugar spikes) than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs also aid in muscle growth and it is important to eat some AFTER a workout to refuel energy that was lost from activity. To replenish the glycogen stores lost during a workout, it is recommended that one consume carbohydrates within 30 minutes after completing a workout. 
  3. Foods Rich in Vitamin C Citrus, Strawberries, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Tomatoes. Vitamin C helps produce collagen, repair tissues in the body, and boosts the immune system-protecting and rejuvenating us post-exercise. 
  4. Foods Rich in Vitamin A Carrots, Spinach, Chard, Eggs, Milk  Squash, Sweet Potatoes. Vitamin A helps produce white blood cells. It protects/fights infections and promotes the rate of healing; particularly important after a tough work-out. 
  5. Foods Rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids Salmon, Tuna, Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Plant based oils. These fatty acids reduce inflammation and pain that can happen during/after exercise. 
  6. Foods Rich in Zinc Meat, Shellfish, Legumes, Dairy, Eggs, Seeds, Nuts, Whole Grains. Zinc promotes growth, health, and boosts your immunity.

Although many of the foods on this list are considered “Superfoods,” a Super Diet consists of eating a variety of healthy foods every day. Try mixing and matching from different categories, while rotating old favorites/trying new flavors. Healthy foods not only help prevent illnesses but can RECOVER the body as well. An active (athletic) body not only needs calories as fuel but needs a targeted food routine to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and repair/rebuild muscles and other cells.

DON’T FORGET WATER!

Water – Ok, so technically water isn’t a food, yet, it is considered a nutrient, therefore, it still is really important! Rehydrating quickly cools your body from the inside out and replaces electrolytes that were lost from sweat. Yes, many of the foods we eat also contain water, but drinking enough of the good ol’ plain stuff is best!

Herbal Tea Recovery Food for athletes

BONUS BOOST!

Herbal Tea – Yerba Mate helps process protein and carbs effectively, Peppermint Tea can be a natural muscle relaxant, and Chamomile is calming after a focused workout. Whichever ever type you choose, give yourself a moment to relax after a workout – you have earned it!

Whether you are an athlete or not, we are here to discuss all your health and wellness goals. SportsCare and Armworks are currently accepting new patients, so give one of our clinics a call or request an appointment online today!