Eating right is an essential part of any personal training regime – and most fitness fanatics know that a diet packed with fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and whole grains will help you achieve your goals. But sometimes, foods can have surprising health benefits that can help you train better. Often marketed as ‘superfoods’, these foods won’t make up for a relatively unhealthy diet, but they’re worth adding into your weekly shopping basket so you too can harness the benefits for your workout sessions.
- Beetroot: Beetroot juice has recently been dubbed a sporting superfood, due to its high levels of nitrate chemicals which are believed to increase stamina and make muscles more efficient. Researchers at St Louis University in America have found athletes were able to run 5k faster after eating beetroot than cranberries, another supposed superfood.
- Coffee: Coffee before a workout? It’s what top endurance athletes swear by. Caffeine has been proven to increase the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which means muscles can burn the fat for fuel and reserve carb stores in the body for later on in the workout – meaning you can train harder and for longer.
- Watercress: Add watercress to a chicken or tuna salad for a post-workout lunch – scientists at the University of Ulster have found that watercress can prevent some of the DNA damage caused by intense exercise, caused by the build-up of free radicals. It’s because watercress raises levels of antioxidant vitamins.
- Popcorn: Getting sick can put a serious dent in your training plan – so bring out the popcorn. A study at the University of Scranton found popcorn has more disease-fighting antioxidants than most fruit. Enjoy without salt or butter for a healthy office snack.
Your personal trainer will help advise you on which foods you should be eating which are right for your own lifestyle. Read our article for more healthy eating tips!