The secret to living better, longer and enjoying an optimal weight, is based on the combination of various factors that make up a healthy lifestyle. It is because of that diet and physical activity play an essential role in physical, mental and emotional health. The truth is that the energy we get from food helps the body reduce inflammation, fight diseases and also intervenes in sports performance. There are many supplements on the market to help increase athletic performance, however it is a fact that none of these products are as effective as the nutrients that whole foods provide.
It is because of that many athletes overemphasize the type of diet that follow and in the balance of the main macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. However, it is just as important to pay attention to the adequate intake of micronutrients, since they usually have a big impact on performance and recovery. Based on this, we took on the task of compiling the list of basic foods to increase sports performance, they are full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, proteins and enzymes that regulate bodily functions and keep our cells healthy. Take note! And take your physical activity routine to another level.
Rice and pasta are essential foods for athletes. However, rice has the particularity of being gluten-free and is also considered one of the sources of carbohydrates with a fairly moderate glycemic index. White rice usually has a (58) and if basmati rice is consumed or for brown rice it usually has a lower GI of (50). The only recommendation from nutrition experts is avoid eating quick-cooking rice, which usually has a glycemic index of (87). What is most striking about the consumption of rice and its relationship with sports performance is its power of satiety: With 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving, it is one of the favorite foods of athletes. The reason? Carbohydrates instantly increase physical performance. That is why it is one of the main fuels used during physical exertion. Before training or competing, eating carbohydrates offers enough energy to give you your maximum. Also after the session, carbohydrates, such as rice, allow you to start a quality recovery.
White rice. / Photo: Shutterstock
It is no news to say that not all cereals are the same and oats are considered the queen. It is simply a wonderful alternative and one of the most recommended healthy breakfast or snack options for athletes. A recent study published by Harvard University in 2016 looked at the eating habits of more than 786,000 adults. They showed that consuming 70 grams of whole grains like oatmeal reduces the risk of premature death by 22%. It has also been proven that eating a plate of oatmeal in the morning is a useful gesture to improve health and sports performance. Oatmeal is a superb source of plant-based protein, provides fiber and essential minerals, it is also highly appreciated for the amount of carbohydrates it contains 60g per 100 grams. Best of all, it is incredibly versatile and can be successfully added to juices, smoothies, salads, and blends wonderfully with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Oatmeal. / Photo: Shutterstock
The egg is simply one of the foods that can not be missing in the diet of athletes. Although some years ago it was accused of raising bad cholesterol and with it associated with negative effects on cardiovascular health, it is true that many people used to avoid its consumption. Today we know that they are the most complete and nutritious superfood that can be enjoyed at any time in the most versatile ways. Eggs are an incredible source of proteins of high biological value, thanks to this they enhance performance. In addition, the egg is very satiating, which relates it to an excellent assimilation and use by the body. It is important to consume the whole egg, since it is the best way to take advantage of all the minerals it contains and if possible much better if it is organic. Bet on combining it with abundant vegetables and healthy fats such as avocado It will fill you with energy!
It is well known that sports performance is directly related to muscle mass, without it the body does not have the strength to perform its most vital functions, much less for physical activity. That is why adequate protein intake plays a fundamental role, specifically it is known that white meat such as chicken breast is simply the perfect protein source for increase muscle mass and improve physical performance The reason? Promotes muscle development, keeps muscles healthy, and participates in recovery. Chicken not only contains protein of good nutritional quality with a excellent amino acid contentHence his interest in sports performance. A scientific study showed that eating chicken, a meat low in saturated fatty acids, leads to an improvement in blood lipid levels, an important point in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Best of all, it’s very satisfying, versatile, and flavor-neutral, allowing you to create all kinds of combinations.
Grilled chicken. / Photo: Shutterstock
5. Fatty fish
Various nutrition trends and the famous Mediterranean diet promote the consumption of fatty fish, as a great addition to lose weight and improve health. The truth is that they are also a very important addition to increase sports performance and muscle mass, in principle due to their high content of quality proteins and low caloric intake. But the most important thing is its content in Omega-3 fatty acids that improve neuromuscular function and reduce fatigue, both factors increase athletic performance. In fact, there is a recent study in which it was found that a sufficient supply of omega 3 increases muscle function by up to 20%. Furthermore, salmon in particular has a health advantage in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the development of the brain and the reduction of certain chronic diseases. Try to consume fresh versions.
Salmon with steamed vegetables. / Photo: Shutterstock
6. Green vegetables
Vegetables simply cannot be lacking in any healthy diet and, believe it or not, they are very important in physical performance. We are used to thinking that proteins and carbohydrates are the most important nutrients to increase physical activity, the truth is that green vegetables are just as important as they provide trace elements, minerals, fiber and essential antioxidants. According to researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium, green vegetables, such as spinach, are extremely effective in enhancing athletic performance. The researchers explain the good results by the presence of nitrates that contain this type of food. They also allow vasodilation and better irrigation to facilitate oxygen transport. The integration of green vegetables is therefore beneficial for the performance of any athlete and especially for endurance athletes in height. Bet on the consumption of spinach, chard, kale, lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers and cabbages.
Green vegetables./Photo: Shutterstock
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