Now that many of you have created a solid workout/meal prep routine, here are some foods that GENERALLY are ideal for athletic body. Please keep in mind portions, timing & quality are still factors but for the most part it is nice to have some kind of reference.
There are tons of OTHER REASONS why these foods are awesome but here is my simple break down-
1. Cherry: antioxidant-filled fruit, prevents muscle pain after running, reduces inflammation. Hack: tons of athletes drink cherry juice who are avid runners.
2. Berries: rich in antioxidants, darker berries contain phytochemicals and other protective elements that prevent oxidative stress.
3. Sweet Potato: rich in vitamins A and C, both antioxidants that remove free radicals, lower blood pressure, high in vitamin and mineral content and contain the levels of potassium, iron, manganese and copper athletes need for healthy muscles.
4. Legumes: no saturated fat and contain fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer.
5. Banana: excellent source of natural electrolytes, which need to be replaced after a workout or sporting event, high in potassium, perfect post-event snack. Eating one banana will help you regulate your fluid intake (since you’re drinking more water before, after and during physical exertion). It will also protect you from muscle spasms or cramps.
6. Nuts: high in protein and healthy fats, eaten with carbs, they help level out your blood sugar and sustain the carbs over a longer period of time, rather than burning them off right away. Nuts are rich in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin E. The anti-inflammatory nutrients found in nuts makes them great for bone health, which is needed by every athlete.
7. Salmon: This oily fish is packed with lean, muscle-building protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces the inflammation that can happen with continual athletic activity. It is also a natural artery cleanser, helping to prevent heart disease, which can affect even the most active people.
8. Dark Leafy Greens: rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to boost your athletic abilities. They also contain high levels of vitamins A, K and B6, and calcium and iron, all of which protect the body against inflammation. Iron also means more oxygen being supplied to working muscles. Kale contains carotenoids and flavonoids, two power antioxidants, and fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.
Inspired and abbreviated info from: