What if produce was sold the same
way workout supplements were? Boosted strength, faster metabolism, two times the protein! “Most of the really great ‘energy foods’ aren’t marketed that way,” says sports dietitian Lauren Antonucci. “But some of the best choices are whole foods that are naturally high in nutrients like iron, protein and essential fatty acids.”
Here, five of the most highly energized foods to get you going.
“Athletes like them for their quick hit of carbs and electrolytes,” says sports dietitian Tara Gidus Collingwood. One University of California, Davis study found raisins were as effective at keeping runners’ stamina up, since carb-based snacks designed for endurance. Athletes who ate either during a 5K were able to cut a minute off their race time, compared with those who only drank water. The study concluded the ideal amount is about 28g
Soy beans are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that plays a crucial role in turning food into energy. One cup of them (shelled) delivers more than a day’s worth of the vitamins, along with bonus magnesium and riboflavin, two minerals that provide extra energy.
At 93% water, this juicy fruit is the equivalent of an IV drip. “Most people don’t realize that water-rich foods can contribute up to 20 per cent of your fluid needs for the day,” says Antonucci. In young women, even mild dehydration is linked with fatigue, according to research in the Journal of Nutrition, because water is needed to sustain almost all of your body’s functions. A cup and a half of cubed melon is as hydrating as a 250ml glass of water. This mega melon also contains other vitamins that are very good for your body.
Sardines are a top source of iron, crucial in transporting oxygen around your body – and oxygen feeds your muscles to keep them moving. Swiss research has shown women who have low stores of iron, have less energy and endurance than those with normal levels. Plus these guys pack CoQ10, a vital player in your cell’s powerhouse, the mitochondria.
A quarter-cup meets 30% of your daily magnesium needs –. Being low on Mg can make you drag because your body uses it to generate ATP, the molecule that transports energy between cells. Almonds are also an excellent source of B vitamins like riboflavin, which help you convert kilojoules into fuel.