Performance: 9 superfoods to optimize your workouts

Optimize your workouts and improve your sporting performance with the most popular superfoods for top athletes and athletes.


Superfoods to stimulate and improve your workout

Every day brings a lot of ups and downs. If you run out of energy and are still tired of your last session, exercising may be difficult. Proper nutrition can help you overcome these obstacles by improving your performance and your ability to recover.

To fully experience the benefits of your workouts at the gym, eat a diet rich in antioxidants, minerals, protein, complex carbohydrates and high-quality fats. In this regard, Vancouver-based holistic nutritionist Rich Ralph recommends eating well while focusing on a whole-food diet. The next time you feel bored or lethargic, indulge in these tasty ideas and add power to your workout.


Chia seeds, rich in protein and potassium

“Chia seeds contain almost twice as much protein as other seeds, almost five times more calcium than milk and twice as much potassium as bananas,” says Rich Ralph. Athletes need to maintain a strong bone structure, and the body absorbs the calcium in chia seeds particularly well.

When should you eat it? “They will make a perfect snack 15 to 20 minutes after the physical effort,” says the nutritionist. You can, for example, add a handful of chia seeds to your post-workout smoothie. For optimal recovery, he suggests adding chia seeds to a large salad two to four hours later.


Eggs to fill up with protein, calcium and iron

Eggs are made of 50% protein, which contains the 8 amino acids essential for the growth and regeneration of muscles and bones. In addition, they are a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, D, E and B.

When should you eat it? Eat 20 to 30 minutes before exercise. For endurance athletes, boiled eggs are also a great snack midway through the workout. “After the exercise, I eat eggs to regain strength,” says Rich Ralph – in 2007, he was skating from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Vancouver, BC, in-line skating. in just four months.

Expert advice: When buying eggs, ask for eggs from free-range chicken farms. This will avoid any potential risks associated with added stimulants, antibiotics and hormones, which are sometimes used on non-organic dairy farms.


Kefir, a great ally for your workouts

“Kefir (a fermented milk-based drink similar to yogurt) is particularly rich in B1 and B2 vitamins, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin A,” says Rich Ralph. What makes kefir unique is its fermentation process, which greatly facilitates digestion. This allows the body to focus on absorbing and assimilating nutrients and proteins necessary for the growth and regeneration of muscles and bones. In addition, kefir contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that relaxes the nervous system, making it an ideal food for late-night athletes.

When to eat it: Indeed, it is a drink to recover quickly 30 minutes after your workout.

Expert advice: Better known for its beneficial effects on digestion, kefir also helps restore the intestinal flora that has been destroyed by refined and processed food regimes or the frequent use of antibiotics. Finally, to optimize digestion, sprinkle linseed on your kefir.


Millet, rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and protein

Millet is a kind of grass with a sweet flavor and reminiscent of hazelnut. It has a complete profile in essential amino acids, making it a protein in its own right. “Millet is rich in magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus,” says Rich Ralph, “all elements that contribute to the production of energy so crucial to athletes.”

Millet preparation is easy. For two quantities of water, add a quantity of millet, cover and bring to a boil. Then let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the millet has completely absorbed the water.

When to eat it: Given its high protein content, the nutritionist suggests eating it as a main course three hours before or after the workout. Millet will promote recovery and prevent fatigue the next day.

Expert Tip: For a healthier and tasty oatmeal alternative, add small pieces of orange, ground almonds or hazelnuts, and a hint of pure honey to your millet bowl.


Rich in potassium, bananas contribute to hydration and recovery

Bananas are packed with vitamins and minerals. “The muscles are stimulated by electrical impulses, potassium and sodium being a fundamental factor in the process,” says Rich Ralph. In other words, the banana contributes to the hydration and ensures the good recovery of the muscles.

When should you eat it? Since it is easy to digest and is a good source of energy, you can take a banana 30 to 40 minutes before exercise. For long workouts, the expert suggests eating a banana to give a new boost of electrolytes.

Expert Advice: It’s never a good idea to consume too much of anything, even if it’s good for you. Indeed, some naturopathic doctors have noticed an increase in banana allergies in their patients. To avoid any potential sensitization, they suggest eating a banana every three to four days.


Acai berries to stock up on antioxidants

“Acai berries are phenomenal because they have a particularly high antioxidant content,” Rich Ralph says. They are also an abundant source of amino acids, essential fatty acids, and minerals, elements that promote muscle contraction.

When should you eat it? Stir in a drink about 30 minutes after exercise.

Expert advice: The nutritional value of Acai is concentrated in the kernel of the fruit. To get all the benefits, mix the acai pulp in a smoothie, quinoa oatmeal or probiotic yogurt. You can find acai pulp in your health food store or in the organic section of some supermarkets.


Salmon, an excellent source of omega-3 and protein

Fish is a food that promotes muscle growth. Thus, it constitutes a complete supply of proteins and is easily absorbed by the body. In addition, the omega-3 it contains contribute to the attenuation of inflammation of the joints, allowing them to remain lubricated.

When to Eat It: Filling up on protein before exercise will minimize muscle breakdown. Rich Ralph suggests incorporating salmon into your main menu three hours after your workout.

Expert Advice: “I can not stress enough the importance of getting good quality wild salmon over farmed salmon,” says Ralph. The environmental impacts of farming practices are devastating, and farmed salmon are known to be infested with sea lice and carry disease. The smaller salmon, like sockeye, are a better choice because they accumulate fewer toxins from their environment. “


Beans: an excellent source of protein, vitamins and folic acid

Beans, known for their high protein and fiber content, are ideal for vegetarians and weight-conscious people. These small vegetables are an excellent source of energy B vitamins and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. They are also rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus and folic acid, while being low in carbohydrates and fat.

When to eat it: Eat beans two to three hours before physical activity, says Rich Ralph.

Expert advice: but the latter advises consuming on a regular basis. Of course, some people have trouble digesting beans. To promote assimilation, it leaves soaked beans to soak for 8 to 10 hours before cooking. “This optimizes their digestion and ensures the transmission of nutrients,” he says.


Carrots, rich in vitamin A and selenium

A cup of carrot is enough to provide nearly 600% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. Carrots also contain vitamin C and selenium, a rare element. This amalgam helps fight free radicals created during exercise.

When to eat: They are a great snack before or after physical exercise.

Expert advice: According to Rich Ralph, studies indicate that it can be beneficial to make juice to concentrate nutrients and promote digestion and the passage of carrots in the digestive system. “If you have the time (and a juice extractor), I strongly encourage you to do it,” he says. For an antioxidant supplement, squeeze six carrots and a handful of parsley.