Hey Angels and Alphas,
I hope we can all agree that eating a diet focused on whole-food macronutrients as its foundation is vital to good health.
No magic supplement can replace the importance (and the benefits) of this fundamental dietary foundation.
But when it comes to a high-performance lifestyle, people are always looking for ways to go above and beyond, and to do this, they generally add additional phytonutrients in their diet.
The right nutrition extras can indeed help you boost your physical and mental performance, and today, we’re going to learn exactly how.
Let’s take a look at each individual fitness goal you might have right now – be it better endurance, strength, hormone control, etc. – and some specific food options that can help you get the job done.
GOAL: BUILD ENDURANCE
This blue-green algae is more than just a wellness ‘woo-woo’ superfood that recently gained popularity. It’s actually loaded with phytonutrients that can benefit all forms of athletic endurance by slowing down fatigue. The research on it suggests the antioxidant powers can lead to postponed time to exhaustion during training. Just add a pinch to your smoothie and see how your body reacts.
GOAL: BOOST ENERGY
NUTRIENT: COENZYME Q10
CoQ10 is a compound that is paramount to the vital mitochondrial function and generating energy by producing ATP. Both of these things are important to energized performances. Your body naturally produces these compounds, but age, heavy training, and restrictive diets can put you at risk of not getting enough. Supplements are most effective because foods such as spinach, organ meat, and soy only contain small amounts.
GOAL: QUICK RECOVERY
If you’re only drinking your cup of coffee in the morning or before workouts, you’re most likely not reaping the full benefits of this compound. Caffeine has been shown to increase muscle glycogen by speeding up its refueling. To reap the full benefits, consume caffeine along with carbohydrates within an hour of finishing your training.
GOAL: BURN MORE FAT
NUTRIENT: GREEN TEA
Green tea is known as one of the healthiest beverages. Green tea, like matcha, has been linked to improvements in many conditions such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, even obesity. Most important for athletes is the potential of green tea to stimulate and improve overall metabolic activity. The ability for the body to switch between using carbohydrates and fat as its energy source. Research has shown mixed results, but the evidence suggests that chronic consumption of green tea can increase fat oxidation by 20 percent.
GOAL: IMPROVED INTERVALS
Your body can naturally produce its own supply of this non-essential amino acid, or it can get it from animal proteins. That being said, athletic bodies may have higher demands for beta-alanine than the body can produce without supplementation. Vegetarian athletes are especially at risk of not producing enough to meet their dietary needs. There is evidence that beta-alanine can improve high-intensity training bouts by reducing muscle acidosis. One study showed a 20 percent improvement in HIIT and another showed improvement in 10K runs with supplementation of beta-alanine.
GOAL: IMPROVED FOCUS
Choline is essential to the brain’s ability to send messages to cells throughout the body – it may also be key to staying focused during endurance training. While most adults get plenty of choline through food sources such as egg yolks, fish, peas, and muscle meats, endurance training will deplete these stores.
GOAL: BUILD MUSCLE MASS
Leucine is an essential amino acid. This means your body doesn’t make enough of it – you have to get it through your diet. It helps your body build and maintain muscle mass. When compared to other aminos, leucine has been shown to be rapidly digested. This makes it an efficient way for athletes to stimulate muscle synthesis. Some of the best sources of leucine include eggs, beef, tuna, and tofu.