Although many different foods are available to us, if you haven’t already done so, I recommend including these five favorite foods of athletes in your diet!
And make sure to download the Nutri coach app to help you eat healthier every day!
1. Bananas, the perfect fruit for sports
Bananas are like nature’s own cereal bar.
Due to their high potassium content, bananas help your muscles recover faster and can also prevent and relieve cramps.
Benefits: you can take them anywhere for a quick and easy snack. Bananas are rich in complex carbohydrates, making them a convenient and effective way to boost your energy before physical activity and recover after a workout.
2. Eggs, the favorite protein of athletes
If I had to choose only one source of protein in my diet, it would be eggs, without a doubt.
Eggs are loaded with 13 vitamins and minerals and contain high-quality proteins, including the 8 essential amino acids that must be supplied from food.
If you’re still not convinced, just keep in mind that, nutritionally speaking, eggs are considered the gold standard of protein. In fact, egg protein has a biological value of 93.7% on a 100 point scale. Here’s how they compare to other high-protein foods:
- Milk: 84.5%,
- Fish: 76%,
- Fish: 74.3%
- Wheat and rice: about 64%.
The closer the score is to 100, the easier it is for your muscles to absorb the protein!
Note: a study which appeared in 2008 in the International Journal of Obesity shows that having eggs for breakfast enhances weight loss. Another health benefit of eating eggs!
* Vanderwal JS et al, et al. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. International Journal of Obesity, published online on August 5, 2008.
3. Oatmeal for breakfast and snacks
I know what you’re thinking. “We feed oats to horses, why should I eat them too?” Well, you’ll be surprised how delicious oatmeal can be when properly prepared with a liquid. Otherwise, I agree that it can be very dry.
You can make all kinds of tasty porridges by adding some milk, fruit, chocolate chips or peanut butter. Oats can also be used to make bowl cakes, energy balls, cookies, or homemade cereal bars.
Oatmeal is one of my favorite foods because it contains the right amount of the healthy carbs your body needs. I eat it at breakfast because, in addition to being delicious, it also fills me up so I don’t feel the urge to snack before lunch.
Tip: to retain its relatively low glycemic index, oatmeal can be eaten cold. Prepare it the night before (without cooking) and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, you’ll have a ready-to-eat breakfast.
4. Nuts or nut butter, a staple in many athletes’ diets
The healthiest nuts include almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pistachios and pine nuts.
With their high levels of fat and low water content, nuts are an energy-dense food and have an average of 600 calories per 100 grams!
However, athletes eat them daily for the many reasons. Nuts are known to:
- Have anti-inflammatory effects;
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease;
- Possess antioxidant properties;
- Boost the absorption of carbohydrates, proteins and fats;
- Speed up muscle recovery;
- Reduce cramps and aches (magnesium);
- Help to fight stress (magnesium).
Advice: Although nuts have many health benefits, limit your consumption to about one handful a day to avoid calorie overload!
5. The sweet potato, a carbohydrate-rich superfood
The sweet potato is a unique starchy vegetable from a nutritional perspective because it is has a fairly high carbohydrate and fiber content and a low glycemic index.
In other words, sweet potatoes provide the right amount of complex carbs without adding extra calories, while making you feel full and satisfied.
Did you know?
For strength training, carbohydrates are as important as proteins. Both nutrients help to support muscle growth and promote a faster recovery. Also, without carbs, your body won’t be able to produce enough energy to perform more intense workouts. Therefore, don’t underestimate the power of carbohydrates!
To learn about the types and amounts of food you should eat and to get nutritional advice and recipe ideas, download the Nutri coach app!