While adding protein shakes, Gatorade and GU to your diet has its benefits, the foundation of your food intake must first be stable. If you're not consuming the proper amount of nutrients via fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains, chances are supplementary products won't do you much good. At the core, all-natural foods are vital for amplifying workouts and maximizing energy exertion.
When wandering through a supermarket, athletes routinely put on metaphorical blinders, ignoring thousands and thousands of items and robotically heading straight to a handful of go-to items. Cliff bars, Gatorade, frozen pizzas and maybe a few apples are the norm. Yet, unfortunately, when we load our carts with processed grub and avoid the healthy aisle, we're diminishing our own athletic ability.
Fleet Feet Sports Chattanooga is so looking forward to our first fuel event this Thursday evening, August 11. This event will be part of a fueling series, in which we will go through various ways to properly hydrate and boost energy while training. This week, Holistic Wellness Consultant, Ashley McAdoo, will speak about the ways to kickstart metabolism and fight off fatigue with plant-based, all natural foods.
To honor the kick off of this series, we've made a list of all-natural, advantageous foods that everyone—especially runners—should think about adding into their diet.
Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, essential oils and healthy fats. Eating a handful of nuts several times throughout the week can help lower cholesterol, decrease your risk of heart disease, and even protect you against cancer. Consider eating them raw, or adding them into cereals, salads or hot dishes. You can even puree nuts into butters (ex. peanut butter) and spread the gooey mixture atop breakfast bagels and toasts.
One egg is equal to approximately 10 percent of your needed daily protein. Packed with amino acids that aid muscle recovery, eggs not only boost energy prior to a workout, but they help your body to heal afterwards. Considered a nutritional powerhouse, eggs are also packed with vitamin K—great for your bones—as well as choline, a stimulating brain nutrient. Add them into burritos or sandwiches; mix them with vegetables for an epic scramble; or fry them up to for an obscure burger topping.
Acidic Fruits (Ex. Grapefruit, Oranges):
Incredibly high in the antioxidant vitamin C, oranges remarkably lessen muscle soreness and boost overall immunity. If you enjoy participating in butt-kicking workouts and/or strenuous downhill running, oranges may be your saving grace! Consider zesting the skin of oranges into smoothies or salads for the nutrient herperidin, which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Grapefruit is another extremely beneficial acidic fruit, also high in vitamin C. The rich pinkish-red color of the fruit is the result of lycopene, a phytonutrient that is known to help lower the risk of cancer. (Other lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables include tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and apricots. Green tea is also high in lycopene.) Grapefruit juice is ranked among fruit juices highest in antioxidant activity, with protective phenol compounds that can ward off chances of Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, grapefruit helps prevent kidney stones and repair DNA.
By Olivia Harlow