Your performance in a race is only as good as the fuel you provide your body. And after you are done taxing your body and pushing yourself physically and mentally to the fullest, how you recover becomes a crucial component of your training for race day. Replenishing energy, recovering from tendonitis, or sore aching muscles, your body needs nutrients to repair itself. So to optimize and speed up your recovery, here are some foods that deliver specific nutrients to race related fatigue and physical stress.
Exercise, while essential for building a strong body and healthy organs, is broken down during the exercise process. Microtears in muscles, ligaments and other tissue occurs from the stress of exercise on the body and it is necessary to replenish the nutrients of the body during a recovery phase so your body can heal and regenerate. Proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals help to heal the body’s tissue and overused tendons and ligaments, help prevent muscle breakdown and free radical damage to healthy cells. So to keep the body healthy and optimize recovery, here are some foods to consider making part of a healthy diet to aid in recovery.
Salmon provides essential nutrients like protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Protein helps to rebuild healthy cells in muscle, tendons and ligaments, and omega 3 fatty acids act as anti-inflammatories and will work to reduce inflammation in overused tissue and they help to disperse buildup of waste that is generates around tendons and ligaments that are trying to heal. Other sources of protein include lean chicken, turkey, tuna and nuts.
Peppers, specifically red peppers, provide more than the necessary amount of vitamin C the body needs to repair tendon and ligament tissue. Vitamin C contributes to the healing process by assisting in the formation of collagen which rebuilds healthy tissue including bone and blood vessels. Additional sources include oranges and papaya.
Almonds are a good source of vitamin E, used as an antioxidant to prevent free radical damage and protect and regenerate healthy cells. Almonds are also a good source of healthy fats used to promote healing. Additional sources include avacado.
Carrots are an execellet source of vitamin A which helps to boost the immune system and fight infection by making white blood cells. It will also assist with repair of microtears in tissue as a result of intense exercise. While you can obtain vitamin A through a multimvitamin supplement, there are better choices in foods such as carrots, spinach and apricots.
These are just a few sources of healthy foods you can make a part of your healthy diet plan to optimize your nutrition, recovery faster from intense exercise and keep your body healthy. To learn how to incorporate these foods into a diet plan, consult with a Registered Dietician regarding what are the most appropriate food choices for you.