When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, endurance athletes literally go the extra mile. However, the road to your peak physical condition isn’t only paved with exercise. Nutrition is a vital part of endurance athletes’ training, and we are here to share their secrets (we hope they don’t mind!).
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just beginning your training, these superfoods are essential in optimizing performance and recovery times.
Matcha Green Tea is a powder made from young green tea leaves, delivering several times more antioxidants and nutrients than conventional green tea. Matcha delivers a “balanced” buzz, with no jitters or crash. This is due to a very special amino acid, L-Theanine, which promotes a calm, focused alertness. Not to mention, this delicious tea was used by the Samurai Warriors for strength and endurance. Impressive, right?
2. Sacha Inchi Seeds
As you may know, the quicker athletes can reduce inflammation, the more consistently they can train! Native to South America, the Sacha Inchi seed is known for its heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acid count. When you consume Omega-3’s your body makes resolvins. These resolvins help ward off inflammation by actually inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals.
Sacha Inchi seeds are sold roasted and can be eaten by themselves or even mixed into a trail mix. Experiment with your own Sacha Inchi trail mix by mixing Sacha Inchi, your favorite dried fruit and seeds.
Maca is a root that is grown in the Peruvian Andes Mountains 14,500 feet above sea level. At this altitude, Maca is actually the ONLY cultivated plant that can survive. That’s pretty tough if you ask us! This resilience is what makes Maca an adaptogen; the consumption of which improves the overall ability of the body to take on physical and even emotional stress. Maca has also been said to increase energy, stamina and endurance. In fact, it was taken by the ancient Incan Warriors for those very purposes!
4. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are chocolate in the purest of form. Cacao, or Theobroma cacao, translates to “Food of the Gods.” Not only are these little nibs delicious, they are astoundingly good for your body and training. Delivering a variety of phytonutrients including magnesium, phenylethylamine and sulfur, plus the “bliss nutrient” theobromine, cacao will keep you alert and happy! Cacao has also been studied for its beneficial effect on inflammation due a flavanol it contains called epicatechin. Who knew being a chocolate lover could be such a good thing?
5. Functional Mushrooms
Besides their array of vitamins and nutrients including b-vitamins, selenium, potassium and beta-glucans, functional mushrooms (such as Reishi) have a very unique and positive effect on the body. It’s because of these unique effects that they’ve been used for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Chinese, Romans and Egyptians for optimal health and vitality.
Here’s a fun and little known history fact: In 1993, China’s Olympic team broke three record distances, taking home the gold. They performed so well, rumors of drug use were circulating everywhere. However, no evidence of banned substance use could be found. What was their secret? The coach later divulged they owed their success to a concoction made from functional mushrooms.
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