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Many athletes mistakenly think that they must turn to expensive health supplements and protein shakes to build stronger muscles and enhance their athletic performance.
For example, most athletes want to be able to run faster and push themselves to do more intensive training workouts.
Well, instead of spending a small fortune to get the vitamins and protein that your body needs to make you a better athlete, you can get those same nutrients just by adding these seven superfoods to your diet.
Here are the top fruits and vegetables that you can eat to build a stronger body and improve your athletic performance.
You have likely heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, the expression is based on the fact that apples contain a very high concentration of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is crucial for athletes because it boosts their immune system, as well as enabling them to train harder and for longer. It can also help your body repair muscle tissue. In addition to lots of Vitamin C, apples are also loaded with fiber.
Fiber helps your body absorb nutrients out of food, maintain normal blood pressure, and improve bowel movements. Of course, apples make a delicious snack by themselves. However, they are also a great ingredient to put in salads and health shakes.
If you are looking for the best vegetable to help you build stronger muscles, look no further than beets!
Beets are one of the top superfoods when it comes to increasing the amount of nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide makes your blood vessels dilate, which improves the flow of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
That means your muscles can get more oxygen and energy during your training workouts. Therefore, you will be able to build bigger muscles and have more energy to enhance your athletic performance.
For example, you will be able to lift more reps, run faster and farther, and recover from workouts more quickly. You can eat beets by themselves or use them as an ingredient in healthy smoothies.
Carrots are one of the top superfoods, packed full of Vitamin A, C, and K. However, what makes carrots really exciting is that they contain lutein, which helps increase your energy levels.
Lutein also enhances the efficiency of your body’s mitochondria. Mitochondria are like little energy factories inside your cells that convert glucose into usable energy. What that translates to is that eating carrots can help you run faster, as well as have more energy for your training workouts.
Higher lutein levels will also help you burn more fat. Many people enjoy using carrots in their health shakes and as a topping on their salads. However, they make a great snack by themselves too.
Athletes, as well as people who do intense training workouts, need a lot of calcium to support strong, healthy bones. In addition to strengthening your bones, calcium also reinforces the connective tissue between your bones – which gives your body more power during athletic performances.
Without a diet high in calcium, not only will your athletic performance suffer, you will put yourself at greater risk of injuring yourself. Out of all vegetables, kale is the highest in calcium. Therefore, eating kale is a great way to consume lots of calcium without a lot of calories.
If you like eating salads, try replacing the lettuce with kale. You can also replace the lettuce on your sandwiches with kale, as well as just eat it as a snack by itself.
Not all superfoods are technically fruits or vegetables. For example, mushrooms are another great source of protein, as well as other vital minerals and vitamins that athletes need to stay healthy and perform their best. Furthermore, they can help your body recover more quickly after your training workouts.
Mushrooms are one of the few dietary sources of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important because it regulates your hormones. Furthermore, it helps increase the production of testosterone, which is important for burning fat and building muscles.
Vitamin D also supports your immune system to help your body fight off illnesses and keep you healthy. Mushrooms make a great topping for pizza and salads.
Despite their bad rap, athletes shouldn’t completely cut out carbohydrates from their diet. That’s because carbs are an important muscle-building component that will enhance your workouts.
Potatoes are one of the best sources of carbs. Furthermore, they are high in fiber and Vitamin C while being low in calories. Fiber and Vitamin C will help enhance your recovery after workouts.
If you eat potatoes after a workout, the energy will go straight to your muscles.
Spinach was made famous as a great muscle-building superfood by the cartoon character Popeye. It’s true that eating spinach will help you build stronger muscles.
Spinach is high in protein – an important muscle-building component – and phytoecdysteroids.
Before you start panicking, phytoecdysteroids aren’t anything like the dangerous, illegal steroids that athletes are banned from using. However, they do have a similar effect when it comes to helping your body build bigger muscles.
You can boil spinach and eat it as a dish by itself. You can also use spinach leaves in your salads, as well as a topping on sandwiches.
In short, if you want to really make your training workouts count and perform better as an athlete, then you need to keep your body healthy.
Eating apples and carrots will give your immune system the Vitamin C that it needs to stay strong.
Mushrooms also support good immune health.
Beets can help your blood vessels deliver more oxygen to your muscles.
Kale offers the calcium that you need to support strong bones.
Potatoes are a good source of carbs and spinach is an excellent source of protein. Both of which are needed to build bigger muscles and get more out of your workouts.