These little dudes earned their reputation for being a “running food” when the book Born to Run revealed that Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds to improve performance and endurance. While the jury is still out on whether these seeds live up to the folklore (though one study found that they were as effective as Gatorade for fueling before a race), they have all the trappings of a fatigue-fighting food, say Lakatos and Shames. Protein and 5 g of fiber per tablespoon keep blood sugar stable, and a hearty helping of omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation to keep muscles feeling fresh. Plus, they set you up with magnesium, potassium, and iron, as well as the antioxidant quercetin. Quercetin has been shown to aid athletic performance and recovery—in fact, it’s even used in some popular sports drinks.
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