It takes a lot of hard work to boost your stamina, but eating the right food for endurance can help increase your bodies endurance naturally!
Food for Endurance: What to Eat to Aid Body Tolerance
What Is Endurance?
Endurance is something anyone who runs long distances or attempts extended workouts actively hopes for. Having the stamina on hand to complete a marathon, ultramarathon, or even just run for half an hour on the treadmill takes hard work, willpower, and plenty of time as you and other endurance athletes slowly build your body’s ability to keep going.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the development of your stamina along with eating food for endurance.
Why Endurance and Muscular Strength Are Important
Muscular strength and endurance are essential to your body's capacity to perform day-to-day activities, lift things, and move. Although these two things are related, they are still totally different.
Your strength is the amount of force you can produce and the amount of weight you can carry. Endurance is the number of times you can move things without getting exhausted.
These two body features are essential for the following reasons:
- Let you add new physical activities to your workout program
- Provide you with a sense of accomplishment
- Enhance self-confidence and how you feel about your well-being
- Lead to stronger and healthier bones and muscles
- Help you maintain a healthy weight
- Lower the risk of injury
- Increase your ability to perform various physical activities
Things to Avoid to Enhance Endurance
1. Processed Foods
These are packed with sodium and refined sugars while stripped of fiber and antioxidants. The calorie-dense and nutrient-lacking nature of processed foods mean they slow you down and limit your body’s capability to repair itself.
2. Over or Under Hydrate
Hydration is important to endurance. Dehydration cuts down on metabolism, while too much hydration bogs you down and imbalances electrolytes. Sodium isn’t the only electrolyte we need, and most of us consume way too much of this nutrient.
It is vital to life, but in high amounts, sodium raises blood pressure and puts a strain on the kidneys. Cut back on sodium and get some of the other electrolytes, like potassium and fulvic acid.
Fulvic Acid Definition: Fulvic acid is neither an acid nor a mineral, but a small, complex compound that has the unique ability to attract and hold both negative and positive ions. This makes it super transporter of nutrients.
Tip: Boost your energy and stamina throughout the day with Sunwarrior Liquid Light with fulvic acid mineral complex.
3. Refined Sugar and Alcohol
Refined sugar and alcohol are also a problem for endurance.
Sure, sugar gives you a huge boost in energy initially but that energy runs out just as fast. These spikes in blood sugar also do damage to blood vessels and muscles.
Avoid alcohol, too. Alcohol dehydrates the body, strains the liver and kidneys, and is a depressant.
These both get in the way of stamina and endurance.
4. Avoid Last-Minute Intense Training
A good workout requires warm-up and cool-down exercises. This also means you don't only concentrate on light exercises before the proper workout, but you also need to focus on relaxing your muscles after an intense workout.
Your muscles need time to cool down, too, so this is why a last-minute hard training is not recommended.
21 Foods to Boost Endurance
For a healthier boost to stamina, look for foods that contain good complex carbohydrates, fiber, lean protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. These supply a steady stream of energy and promote protection and repair as you push your body past its normal limits.
This food for endurance was used by the Roman army and gladiators to fuel their long marches, competitions, and battles. Barley is rich in fiber and is a complex, slow-burning carbohydrate that provides long-term energy throughout even the most brutal workout.
Activated barley is made by sprouting and fermenting this grain, which makes the nutrients even more bioavailable.
Oats and other whole grains provide fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein to supply a steady stream of energy. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Both barley and oats contain beneficial carbs called beta-glucans, which boost immune function and heart health, too. You can include oatmeal in your daily recipes to boost endurance and strength.
Proper hydration is vital to fully activate endurance. It allows your muscles to function properly when working out or doing any physical activity. This lets your body work correctly to help you keep going and even strengthens your endurance levels.
Drink plenty of clean water daily and increase your fluid intake. You can drink eight glasses of water each day but that depends on your activities.
If you perform intense endurance exercises regularly, you might need more than that. Fresh fruit juices, such as watermelon, and teas are also beneficial.
Most berries are packed with fiber and water to keep you hydrated. Blueberries are also rich in powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants help protect against and undo all the tearing down and stress that takes place during long runs and workouts.
5. Walnuts and Almonds
These nuts are rich in essential amino acids required to rebuild muscle. They also contain healthy fats that keep the cardiovascular system running at optimum levels and boost energy levels.
Nuts are a good source of Vitamin E, fiber, and antioxidants, too.
Cherries are rich in antioxidants that have been shown to reduce inflammation and ease muscle pain during recovery. These foods for energy and endurance may also help you sleep better, which is when the body repairs all the damage we do throughout the day.
7. Sweet Potatoes
A sweet potato is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates paired with fiber for slow digestion, providing that ever crucial steady flow of nutrients. They are also rich in beta-carotene and antioxidants.
Kale and other dark leafy greens are often missing in an athlete’s diet. These provide Vitamin A, K, B6, iron, and lutein to speed up recovery, raise energy levels, improve oxygen flow, and reduce inflammation.
Don’t ignore the greens when you are looking to boost your endurance levels.
9. Red Peppers
Vitamin C is important to many functions of the body, including proper blood flow and the health of blood vessels. It’s a powerful antioxidant too, and red peppers are filled with it.
Red peppers also contain anti-inflammatories that reduce pain.
The potassium, fiber, and B6 in bananas help restore lost electrolytes and balance hydration. This food for endurance has some anti-inflammatory properties, too, helping you recover faster from your physical training.
11. Chia Seeds
These tiny seeds pack in a lot of nutrition and are a good addition to your meals.
Chia seeds are nutrient-dense superfoods full of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, protein, calcium, and iron. Chia seeds also contain soluble and insoluble fiber which holds onto water, slowly releasing it during digestion to supply long-term hydration and energy for improved athletic performance.
These berries are extremely rich in antioxidants for a boost in energy and recovery. This food for endurance has amino acids that support strength, endurance, energy production, and muscle performance.
This ancient grain isn’t really a grain at all but still packs a ton of protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants into each tiny seed. Quinoa also offers a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids the body needs to build and repair muscle.
The spice found in curry carries some powerful antioxidants that can help ease pain, protect the body from damage, and reduce inflammation. This food for endurance is very good for recovering from your physical training.
15. Camu Camu
The intake of this odd tropical fruit is beneficial to your health because camu camu contains high amounts of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and protein.
Protein, for example, is a crucial nutrient the human body needs. One of its major roles is to enhance endurance performance and speed up recovery when consumed in the right amounts after prolonged workouts.
This Himalayan tree is a true superfood. The leaves contain all the essential amino acids along with rich amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins.
Moringa boosts stamina and strength, speeds up recovery, and replaces lost electrolytes.
Carrots are a rich source of Vitamins A and E. Vitamin E plays a role in the efficient use of oxygen and in the transportation of blood to muscles.
This food that increases endurance is also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and some complex carbs.
18. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides. These good fats are shorter and more easily used by the body, so they are burned instead of stored to provide a boost to endurance.
Coconut also combats infection and reduces inflammation. Try applying it externally to ease sore muscles and joints and internally for energy, endurance, and a speedier recovery.
19. Brown Rice
Brown rice is another grain that supplies the body with fiber, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, proteins, and healthy fat for long-term energy.
Sprouted seeds, nuts, and grains contain fewer phytates and enzyme inhibitors—compounds that plant foods use to resist digestion. Sprouted foods are more easily digested, and that nutrition is more available for the body to put to use as energy, repair muscle damage, and build muscle.
21. Coconut Water
Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich beverage that doesn’t overdo the sodium or sugar. You do want some sodium, though, if you are working out hard.
Try coconut water with a dash of sea salt, a little lime, and maybe a small amount of a natural sweetener.
Discover this amazing fruit that can increase your energy and endurance in this video from Sunwarrior:
Consuming the right foods for endurance not only helps increase your muscular strength and endurance but also provides many other essential vitamins and minerals your body can take advantage of. The list of foods above is entirely plant-based, which means they are safer and healthier for your overall health.
Get more endurance tips and recipes!
What other plant-based foods for endurance can you share with us? Leave them in the comments section below!
- Water You Talking About: How to Properly Hydrate for Endurance Exercise Part I
- Water You Talking About: How to Properly Hydrate for Endurance Exercise Part II
- Power Coffee Recipe
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 7, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.