It's no mystery- endurance athletes need ENERGY! But what is the best fuel and how when should we be eating it? Here's 8 Foods for Every Endurance Athlete that are nutrient and energy filled to enhance every training session.
~Oatmeal & Brown Rice- low glycemic and high in complex carbohydrates- they allow a slow release of energy to the body.
~Cherries & Berries -reduces muscle pain due to their anti-inflammatory properties, rich in phytonutrients and are a concentrated form of carbohydrates
~Bananas- reloads your body in potassium and vitamin B6, lowers blood sugar and regulates digestion. Bananas are low in fiber too-BONUS!! This anti inflammatory food is one of the best post workout snacks any endurance athlete can choose. Top them with peanut butter for an intense post workout snack
~Kale- antioxidant rich plus high levels of carotenoids and flavenoids reducing oxidative stress. Kale is known to regulate the body's inflammatory system and lowers cholesterol due to its high fiber content
~Chia seeds & Pomegranates- are SUPERFOODS- nutrient dense and filled with fiber, calcium, antioxidant, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds help keep an individual hydrated longer due to their abilty to absorb 12 x their weight in water
~Wild Salmon- full of Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. Salmon helps reduce catdiovascular issues and reduces inflammation in the body. Salmon also helps rebuild muscle due to its high protein content
~Sweet potatoes- a super starch filled with vitamin A & C (which are antioxidants) helping release toxins and free radicals form your system and lowers blood pressure. Sweet potatoes are also hign in manganese and copper both which develop and enhance muscle function
~Whey protein isolate- Loaded in amino acids and quickly absorbed into the blood stream, whey protein isolate helps you repair your muscle fibers and recover for your next training session
Endurance athletes need carbs- the burn more energy than any other type of athlete. Endurance runners alone need more than 300g carbohydrates per day. A good rule of thumb is to eat a 3:1 ratio carbs/protein before a workout and 4:1 after a workout. Endurance athletes only need to eat during workouts if they are over an hour long- choosing 30 - 60 g carbohydrates per hour of training and consuming 16 oz fluid per hour ( about 4 oz every 15 minutes)
Proper nutrition and hydration is key as endurance athletes break down their muscles for long periods of time- if you notice you're prone to injury or you're not enjoying your workouts or meeting your body compositin goals- you need to dial into your food intake. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, lean proteins and water are key. don't overload your body in gels, salt packets, processed energy bars and fatty foods. try to limit your caffeine intake as it dehydrates individuals, coconut water is a potassium rich and nutrient dense choice other than water. The worst thing an endurance athlete can do is under eat and not fuel their body. Macronutrients are your primary source of energy- enjoy eating them!
Here's a carb & nutrient rich smoothie to fuel any endurance athlete:
12 oz almond milk
1 scoop G6 Sports vanilla prolific whey isolate
4 oz beet juice
1/2 c frozen berries
1/2 c frozen cherries
1 T superfood powder (reds or greens)
blend and stay hydrated and fueled!