National Nutrition Month: Eating for Peak Performance in Sport and in Life
Practice and physical training are keys to success in any sport. In addition, making the right food choices can offer an edge over opponents by enhancing performance in both training and competition. Proper fueling helps us get stronger, faster and less likely to get injured.
Ten Foods for Peak Performance
Make these nutrition stars a regular part of your daily eating plan.
- Oatmeal – an exceptional whole grain for athletes and non-athletes alike
- Broccoli – a super food for superior health
- Oranges – great source of vitamin C, and excellent post exercise fuel
- Low fat yogurt – contains “friendly” bacteria to promote a healthy gut
- Beans – high-energy food that’s high in fiber and low in fat
- Green leafy vegetables – filled with fiber, potassium and folate
- Tuna or salmon – top-quality protein with healthy fats and heart benefits
- Bananas – high potassium food that’s fantastic fuel for every athlete
- Skim milk or low fat soymilk – high quality protein with calcium to strengthen bones
- Nuts and nut butters– long-lasting energy filled with protein and healthy fats
Ten Food Options for Refueling
Within 30 minutes of training, it is vital to refuel with fluid, sodium, carbohydrates and protein. Consider these foods some of your recovery options.
- Homemade smoothie (berry banana smoothie)
- Granola mixed with yogurt and dried fruit
- Whole grain crackers or bread topped with peanut butter and raisins
- Apple, string cheese and a handful of nuts
- NuGo High Protein bar and piece of fresh fruit
- Oatmeal with berries, walnuts & low fat milk
- Turkey (or other lean meat), cheese & veggie sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat pita with hummus and baby carrots
- Graham crackers topped with peanut butter and banana slices
- Hard-boiled egg, glass of OJ and a handful of whole grain cereal
Recipes to Refuel
Berry Banana Smoothie
This makes for a great breakfast, snack or post-workout snack. Make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two days.
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup low fat milk, soy milk or almond milk
1 cup frozen or fresh berries
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes 4 servings, about 170 calories per serving.
Power Trail Mix
Provides both quick and long-lasting energy. An excellent snack to have on-hand.
1 cup granola
1 cup Oatmeal Squares cereal
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots or other dried fruit
1/4 cup roasted and salted almonds
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients and store for up to 4 weeks. Makes 6 servings, about 200 calories per serving.
Training and nutrition aren’t the only factors that impact performance. Consider these suggestions for enhancing performance in sport, work and life.
Visualize positive outcomes – This is the first step to achieving it.
Sleep – A good night’s sleep can make a difference in energy and performance. It also helps to manage weight.
Focus on the present moment – Focus on and mindfulness of the present enhances awareness and experience of whatever we are engaged in.