Eat Like a Pan Am Athlete
Ever wondered about the secret to an athlete’s amazing endurance, super speed, or tremendous strength? Watching the Pan Am Games and seeing all the athletes competing got us thinking about what types of foods they eat to fuel their bodies. We’ve all heard about foods that are known to help reduce cancer, improve eye sight, and boost your immune system. But what about the superfoods that can help you run faster, jump higher, and be stronger? You’d be surprised by how many of these superfoods can be found right at home.
- Did you have oatmeal this morning? We’ll bet you didn’t know think of oatmeal as an abundant source of protein and complex carbohydrates. It also has a high soluble fiber content that gives athletes a continuous release of energy into the bloodstream, which can help with endurance.
- If you’re looking for a quick mid-day snack that packs a punch, grab some berries. Those rich in colour have the greatest phytochemicals and protective substances (like blueberries!). They can also reduce oxidative damage to cells that occurs during periods of vigorous activity. A buildup of these cells is similar to having a toxin in your body, so you’ll want to get rid of them. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all great choice. For an extra boost, try goji berries. They have 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges and act as mini energy-boosters with the richest source of carotenoids of all known foods. Carotenoids have been known to help reduce the risk of certain cancers and eye disease.
- For lunch or dinner, don’t reach for the pizza; try wild salmon with a side of kale instead. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation, reduce pain and muscle soreness. Salmon is also a good source of lean protein, which comes in handy whether you’re training to become an all-star athlete or just trying to stay healthy.
Kale contains high levels of calcium, iron, and vitamins A, K, and B6. Dark green leafy vegetables like kale contain tons of powerful antioxidants and nutrients; these help with regulating the body’s inflammatory process, helping to prevent injuries.
- Lastly, have a banana after your workout. Bananas are a source of potassium, which your body uses to prevent muscle cramps and spasms. Potassium is just one of the many nutrients your body loses during a workout, so it’s important to replenish your body with the nutrients it needs to recover after your workout.
Remember that eating like an athlete doesn’t just mean before and after a workout; it’s about eating the right foods on a regular basis, every day. What foods do you like to eat to keep your body healthy and happy? Tell us in the comments below!