Foods For Endurance
Low energy is simply not an option for an Endurance Athlete! Diet and lifestyle changes can be implemented to fuel your body for maximum performance. Here is a quick look at some foods every endurance athlete should have on their shopping list.
- Quinoa, also known as a "super food" for its high nutritional profile, is a fast cooking grain which cooks in just 10-15 minutes. Quinoa is an ancient high-energy grain from South America. The Incas used it to increase the stamina of their warriors and allow them to run long distances at high altitudes so it is an ideal food for endurance. Quinoa is a complete protein; meaning is has all 9 essential amino acids comparable to milk! Therefore it is perfect for vegetarians concerned with protein intake and it is also a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and calcium. Because it is gluten free, it is very easy to digest.
- Almond Butter is a great, healthy alternative to traditional peanut butter as it is a nutritional powerhouse that contains significant amounts of protein, calcium, fiber, magnesium, folic acid, potassium, and vitamin E. Nut butters are a great source of protein, and will keep you full. Try them on bananas, bagels, or sprouted grain toast.
- Salmon is a great source of protein that won’t leave you feeling sluggish plus is one of the best sources of the essential fatty acid omega 3. Essential Fatty Acids help you burn excess fat, restore health to the cardiovascular system, relieve arthritis pain and inflammation, strengthen the immune system, improve oxygen transport and muscle maintenance.
- Oatmeal is another great source of complex carbohydrates as it is easily digested and does not seem to ever cause discomfort. Try adding nuts, fruit, and cinnamon for a warm, tasty breakfast. Rolled oats will cook in about 10 minutes making this a great option before a long workout.
- Gluten Free pasta does not contain any gluten so those who have gluten sensitivity or who wish to not eat wheat can greatly enjoy this pasta.
- Sprouted grain bread is a better alternative to whole grain breads as they are very easy to digest and contain few ingredients (only the grains, no flour).
- Fruit: Any kind of fruit will do. Use the sweet taste of fruit to satisfy your sugar cravings, without adding to your waistline. Add a variety of colors to your palate to get the most benefits- from vitamin c, to other potent antioxidants and always have on hand some bananas, and whatever seasonal fruit is available. Frozen fruits are also great to stock up on, just make sure there isn’t any added sugar.
- Vegetables should be an athlete’s best friend so try and add as many as possible to your diet depending on what is in season. Carrots, parsnips, yams and sweet potatoes, green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and spinach are good choices. Get in 5-9 servings each day.