How can you improve your cardiovascular fitness with food?
Athletes need more energy and hydration to fuel their body to achieve the best performance possible. The right amount and composition of nutrients are crucial for good health and solid improvements fitness wise. Be smart about what you put in your body and monitor wisely the ingredients of your food choices. Keep in mind:
What you do most of the time matters most.
That means a semi-good choice here and there won´t hurt but, don´t get too wild with the flexibility on your plate.
Eating a well-balanced diet is more than just to choose between a burger or a banana. It´s about getting the right food at the right time, customized to your needs and activity level.
Everybody needs certain amounts of vitamins and minerals for a proper, functioning daily life. However, athletes need even more vitamins and minerals than the average couch potato does.
Critical VITAMINS for athletes
- Vitamin B1
Important for endurance during your workout, all tissues of the body need it to function smoothly. It helps turn food into energy.
Best sources are: lean meat, soy flour, peas, wheat bran
- Vitamin B6
Plays a big role in the protein metabolism. It also needs B2 and Zinc to be activated. If you are eating a protein-rich diet that means you also need a lot of B6 otherwise the protein won´t be processed and gets flushed out unused.
Best sources are: lobster, sardines, lentils, wheat bran
- Vitamin B12
This vitamin is part of a lot of important processes. It helps make your DNA and red blood cells for example and also helps Vitamin A to be absorbed.
Best sources are: oysters, meat, sauerkraut, milk, cheese
- Folic Acid
A major part of rapid cell division and growth. This is especially necessary during workouts when your muscles are doing their work. Folic Acid is very heat sensitive, so it´s a benefit to eating a raw food as a part of your diet.
Best sources are: spinach, mung beans, chickpeas, kale
Critical MINERALS for athletes
Most important for building hemoglobin and therefore for oxygen transportation into your muscles. Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world.
Best sources are: meat, whole grain, spinach, dried chanterelles, nuts
It helps wound healing, the conversion of hundreds of enzymes and tissue growth.
Best sources are: grain, meat, eggs, oats, carrots
It is required for good thyroid health and a proper metabolism. Everybody cell will struggle to break down food to get energy if iodine is missing.
Best sources are: fish, iodized salt, kelp
You can call it the “muscle mineral”! It´s crucial for muscle contraction and relaxation and improves heart performance.
Best sources are: wheat germs, dark chocolate, whole grain, quinoa, green vegetables