As an athlete, you know that your body needs fuel. You need to take care of it with a healthy regimen of diet and exercise so that it can perform its best during workouts, practices, games, and events. But what are the best foods to eat to make sure your body’s getting exactly what it needs?
If you’re ready to start training, here are some of the best foods to consider incorporating into your diet:
Carbohydrates are absolutely necessary for athletes to consume daily to give their bodies the energy they need to perform their best. Oatmeal is an excellent source of healthy carbs that can keep athletes feeling full and satisfied while also allowing their bodies to make energy for intense workouts and games.
Eating a small bowl of oatmeal mixed with nuts and berries during a long workout can even help the body refuel its working muscles.
Wheat Bread and Pasta
Wheat bread and wheat pasta are good for athletes for the same reason as oatmeal: Carb content. However, it’s important to pay attention to the type of carbs you’re putting into your body whether you’re an athlete or not.
Refined carbohydrates, like sugary foods, white rice, and white pasta, are overly processed and don’t give our bodies the fiber or fuel they need. Whole wheat, on the other hand, gets absorbed by the body slowly to keep blood sugar levels more consistent for energizing fuel.
Nuts are excellent sources of protein, another mineral that athletes need to keep building their muscle mass. Muscles are necessary for burning fat and building endurance, so keeping them fueled and healthy should always be an athlete’s goal.
Experts suggest getting protein from foods whenever possible, rather than protein shakes or supplements. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are rich in protein and make for the perfect snack to grab before, during, or after a workout. Just remember not to go overboard, because only a few nuts contain a lot of calories.
Yet another source of athlete-focused protein, beans – kidney, white, pinto, lentil, soybean, to name a few – are an excellent option to replace meat and kick up meals in fun ways. The best thing about beans is that they’re versatile. Eat them on their own, throw them in a stew, mix them in with some rice and stuff a burrito, or use them as a salad topping.
They’re perfect for just about any meal before or after your workout.
Your body needs some fat, believe it or not. When your body uses up its carb storage, it goes for your fat storage next, so it’s a necessary evil to have in your body.
There are bad fats and there are good fats, though. Lean fish is an excellent source of good fat that can actually prevent heart disease and other ailments bad fats are linked to. Salmon is a top choice because of its high protein and omega-3 fatty acid content, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can help athletes stay in their best shape to perform.
Red meat might not be the first thing you consider when thinking of workout-approved foods, but in moderation, it’s a healthy, fulfilling, and mineral-rich food that can benefit athletes.
The key is to choose a lean steak, like top sirloin, with low fat content. Lean steak has high protein content and is rich with iron to help boost your red blood count and carry oxygen to cells to replenish muscles and rejuvenate the body after an intense workout. Plus, it’s rich with B12, zinc, and other essential minerals that keep your body functioning correctly.
Bonus: Steak has a way of keeping you feel full for a long time after eating it, leaving you satisfied until your next meal.
We can’t help you out with the other stuff, but we sure can help you out with the steak. You can order a variety of cuts from Chicago Steak Company conveniently online to have shipped to your home within a few days for a virtually endless supply of workout-ready beef.