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Being an athlete, there is only one goal; to be the absolute best. To achieve this, you need to be able to give your ultimate performance. However, to be a superhuman athlete you will need to feed your body with superfoods. These are 5 superfoods to prime your body to become the ultimate athlete.
Oatmeal is the foundation of which every meal plan in the world is created. It is essentially the healthiest grain that you can eat; it has a low GI count, it is loaded with soluble fibre to sponge up those unwanted fats, it is a very heart-healthy food that can actively work to lower cholesterol. Most importantly though, it is loaded with good carbohydrates (an athletes best friend and main energy source), along with very good dosages of B vitamins which can help with energy levels. Furthermore, it is low-cost, easy to make, and there so many alternative recipes to make it interesting. Oatmeal should always be in your pantry as an athlete.
In particular, is salmon. Most fish will do the trick, but white fish can be a little too lean for someone who is eating for performance. Salmon is the best option to go for because it is loaded with high quality protein, iron, and Omega 3 fatty acids which is extremely beneficial for keeping muscle tissue and connective tissue healthy and strong.
Omega 3 has also been shown in numerous clinical studies to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol by keeping the heart healthy, which lowers blood pressure and increases oxygen transport the muscle. Furthermore, studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory functions as well, which can prevent conditions such as osteoporosis, and arthritis. Salmon can get pricey, so red meat can be a substitute but it does have a higher saturated fat content, so salmon is the best way to go.
These two are also very good carbohydrate sources, as they provide a long-lasting energy source because of their low GI index. Here is a breakdown of the GI Index if you want to understand it in more detail. Aside from being good carbohydrates and an excellent fibre source, they are also loaded with vitamins. Sweet potato offers the highest concentration of beta-carotene (ironic, since ‘carotene’ is latin for ‘carota’ or ‘carrot’ as we know it), which our body synthesises into Vitamin A. Along with this, it is a great source of vitamin C, and the only fat-free source of vitamin E, two powerful anti-oxidants. It is also an iron-rich food, which is important for oxygen production, an essential aspect for athletes.
These mini super foods are often overlooked in an athlete’s diet, but the benefits they offer are far too good to be ignored. They are rich in anti-oxidants which help to reduce oxidation in cells (essentially this is when the body metabolises oxygen, creating ‘free radicals’ which then destroy cells). When we train, the more oxygen gets metabolised, resulting in higher amounts of ‘free radicals’ and more cell damage, which can be detrimental to an athlete. These two are also rich in vitamin C, fibre, and other nutrients which can help lower blood pressure. They are also a tasty snack by themselves, added into yoghurt, as well even throwing them into your oatmeal for a great breakfast.
Yoghurt, and dairy in general, is well-known for providing Calcium and Vitamin D. Yoghurt is a better option than milk, simply because it has more protein along with the two mentioned before. The Calcium in yoghurt strengthens bones, which prevents injuries in all aspects. Calcium is also instrumental in muscle metabolism, and a Calcium deficit can leave you feeling like a flat Duracell battery, along with Vitamin D which is critical for the absorption of Calcium. Yoghurt, along with being a delicious snack or add in to something like oatmeal, is also rich in Vitamin B12, which can help fight fatigue.
Look at implementing these foods into your diet if you haven’t already, and reap the benefits in no time. These 5 simple foods can help you transform your performance from wildly mediocre, to being the ultimate beast you were born to be!