Jason Johnson:Top Foods For Endurance Athletes


While training for the Navy SEAL Fitness challenge I participated in last month, I researched a few of the top foods to fuel endurance athletes. If you’re currently doing intense training, or just need a few foods to get you through your workouts, consider these power foods for endurance and high intensity training. I have kept all these foods in my food rotation:

1) Quinoa: It’s an ancient high-energy grain from South America. The Incas used it to increase stamina of their warriors and allow them to run longer distances at high altitudes. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all 9 essential amino acids , making it a perfect meal for vegetarians concerned with their protein intake.

2) Kale: Kale contains high levels of vitamins A, B6, C and K, iron, calcium and loaded with antioxidants. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Low-grade inflammation resulting from exercise-induced muscle damage is a daily nuisance for many endurance athletes.

3) Oatmeal: This is a great source of complex carbs. It’s easily digested, high in fiber, and as a low-glycemic index food it provides long-lasting energy. This is the ideal breakfast before an endurance event. I like adding cinnamon, walnuts or pecans, honey and raisins.

4) Green Tea: A University of Birmingham, England study suggested a strong possibility that green tea extract could delay fatigue during prolonged moderate-intensity efforts.

5) Cherries: Loaded with antioxidants, cherries have been shown to enhance athletic performance. In a study conducted at the University of Vermont, competitive rowers who added cherry juice to their diets experienced significantly less muscle soreness and strength loss after taking a test designed to cause muscle damage than did a group of fellow rowers who received a placebo.

6) Bananas: Bananas are a perfect compliment to your bowl of pre-competition oatmeal. A banana delivers 2 important things for athletes: carbs and potassium (more than 30 g of carbs and about 400 mg of potassium). Athletes lose potassium through sweat during exercise

Until next time.
Stay healthy and stay active,
Jason M. Johnson, ACE-CPT
JMJ Fitness

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