Boost performance and improve recovery pre and post work out with the nutrition provided by nature!
No matter what sport or physical activity you’re involved in, there are an abundance of natural foods and liquids to help you boost performance and improve recovery. For instance, nature gives us plenty of sources of truly nourishing electrolytes, such as in raw coconut water and through fresh produce such as cucumber, watermelon, lemon and lime, citrus, and plenty others.
Let’s take a look at some top, real food sources of nourishment to more optimally fuel your sport or activity!
Fresh or Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit not only contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to support performance and recovery, it also contains enzymes to help fight free radical damage. Additionally, fresh or organic dried fruit contains naturally occurring sugars to sustain energy during intense or long duration exercise. It also has not been exposed to or processed with synthetic, toxic ingredients.
Bananas in particular can be a great food for athletes and those engaging in exercise. Not only are they inexpensive, easy to grab, and are quick snack, bananas provide a great source of natural sugars for energy, enzymes, but also an assortment of vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, a key electrolyte mineral. They’re also very easy to digest, making it a great option for a pre-activity snack or if you need a boost during the activity.
Dates & Raisins
Dates and raisins make for a simple, quick, easy, and easily-digestible snack for pre or post exercise. Dates and raisins provide a natural source of sugar to boost or maintain energy, as well as vitamins and minerals.
Fresh coconut water or milk provide naturally occurring electrolyte minerals, as well as other vitamins and minerals, some healthy fats, and enzymes to boost and sustain energy and help replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.
Homemade sweet potato fries, baked sweet potato, homemade sweet potato chips, or other such forms of sweet potatoes not only provide healthy carbohydrate to boost or sustain energy, but also supply the body with anti-inflammatory nutrients and some electrolyte minerals.
Nuts & Seeds
Raw nuts and seeds provide healthy, anti-inflammatory fats, as well as an abundance of minerals, including the electrolyte minerals. Regular consumption of nuts and seeds can help you to have increased endurance and stamina, providing the nutrition and energy source the body requires.
Fresh oats provide a great source of natural fuel to sustain activity. Not only does it provide fiber, but it’s a great source of digestible carbohydrate to sustain bursts of activity, while also providing some great vitamins and minerals to nourish the body.
Grade B Maple Syrup
Put a couple of teaspoons in your water bottle and sip throughout your activity. Grade B syrup provides naturally occurring sugars as well as some nutrients.
Making a green smoothie that contains items such as spinach, coconut water or milk, a clean protein powder (like Sunwarrior), fresh fruit, and coconut oil make a great pre or post activity food, one that supplies healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates as well as an abundance of various vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals.
Do you know that you can simply and easily create your own homemade bars, balls, drinks, or gels at home by using real, fresh, and whole ingredients? Simply blending ingredients together such as oats, nut butter, honey, and other nuts, seeds, or dried fruit of choice makes for a great energy boosting food! Making as much as you can in your own kitchen will allow you to control what and how much of a food or ingredient you get, as well as make sure you know how the food is prepared.
Not only are real foods usually cheaper, but you’re getting much more bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking. So, reach for nature’s choice, such as that banana or sweet potato!