Science says these five foods improve athletic performance.
Gunnar Peterson, C.S.C.S. 1 / 6
5 Foods to Make Your Workout More Productive
Fuel is crucial for a good workout. But everyone’s digestive system is different, and people develop personal nutrition habits. Some may prefer not eating within two hours of a workout while others might enjoy eating right before training. Regardless of when your pre- and post-workout meals are, certain foods have known performance and recovery benefits. If you can’t get a meal for a while, snacking ensures that you’ll refuel essential nutrients before your body starts breaking down muscle. Keep these five research-backed snacks handy to muscle through your workouts and make the best of your sweat session.
According to this 2012 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, fat-free chocolate milk significantly increases markers of muscle building and time to exhaustion after endurance exercise. A favorite of cyclists and endurance athletes, the tasty recovery aid can stave off cravings for sweets, especially in chocolate lovers.
There are lots of studies on the benefits of coffee for exercise, but this study published in Circulation was the first to show that the caffeine in a cup of coffee improves blood circulation. Efficient blood circulation is essential to properly get muscle fibers firing. Just don’t go overboard on the coffee and you’ll be right in your zone!
Bananas are a better antioxidant than a carbohydrate drink and serve as a great fuel source according to a 2012 study published in PLOS ONE on cycling performance. The potassium in bananas allows the body to properly regulate hydration levels, so be sure to add this snack to your daily routine.
This fruit was shown in this Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutritionstudy to aid in muscle damage repair. Blueberries were recently found to produce more antioxidants while frozen so add them to smoothies for maximum healthiness.