What Are the Best Foods to Eat for Exercise?
Bananas or blueberries? Fish or chicken? There’s no exact way to eat for an optimal workout, but we’ve got some tips on the healthiest foods to eat to maximize your results:
Did you know you can beat unhealthy cravings by integrating power foods33 into your diet?
Power foods are rich in various nutrients that are known to play important roles in fighting heart disease, minimizing certain cancer risks—and other health benefits. And there are many power foods, so it’s easier than you might think to add them to every meal—including snacks!
We’ve created a healthy list of power foods34 you can refer to when you’re planning meals. You might try using brown rice instead of white; throwing an extra handful of spinach in your morning smoothie; or substituting skim milk for cream in your morning coffee. For a more complete list of power foods, check out Chapter 6.35
After your next workout, try packing in some protein—it can help repair muscle tissue. Some examples of tasty protein-packed meals include:
Quinoa bowl with black beans and pecans
Whole grain pasta with grilled chicken
Sauteed or steamed veggies, like spinach, sweet potatoes or broccoli
Salmon and lentils
Carbohydrates and Fruit
Before and after your next workout, try loading up on some fruit and carbohydrates. Some examples of healthy snacks in this category include:
Apples and walnuts
Oatmeal with berries
Banana with peanut or almond butter
Multi-grain crackers with hummus
One of the most common energy zappers is dehydration. The easiest way to stay hydrated? Water. Here are five tips to make it easier to get your recommended eight to 10 glasses a day:
Add some flavor with slices of citrus or cucumber
Instead of reaching for a soda, grab some water
Add water-heavy fruit to your diet, like watermelon, cucumbers or tomatoes
Drink a full glass of water between meals to curb hunger
Keep a reusable bottle at your desk and by your side when you’re on the go.
Five by Five
There is a wide array of foods that can help boost your workouts. Here are five foods that may surprise you for their ability to boost your results:
Bananas High in potassium, they help you avoid cramps, and their boost of carbohydrates can help keep you energized longer.
Leafy greens Spinach, for example, is high in protein and many essential vitamins and nutrients (and can be snuck into a smoothie).
Almonds This “super nut” has more benefits than any other nut, including antioxidants, folic acid, and potassium—and they’re super-tasty!
Watermelon One serving offers a day’s worth of vitamin C, and it’s packed with water to keep you hydrated.
Tuna Easy to stock when it comes in a can, this fish is chock full of Omega-3 fatty acids and offers a big protein boost for very few calories.