You can hardly go a week without hearing about the latest and greatest superfoods; but what exactly are superfoods and how can they benefit your workouts and results?
There are no rules as to what determines if a food should be designated as “super”. But the term is normally used for foods that particularly powerful properties thanks to either the large number of different nutrients they contain, or even just an unusually high level of one or two nutrients. Usually this is in the form of vitamins.
Some of the most well known superfoods you’ve probably heard about include:
- Dark leafy greens like kale
- Sweet Potato
- Acai berries
But which superfoods can specifically benefit people wanting to put on muscle mass? Are there any superfoods that will help supercharge your workouts so you can reach your goals quicker?
There certainly are foods that can contribute in one or more ways to boosting your performance during workouts; ultimately helping you get the absolute most from every minute you’re in the gym.
10 New SuperFoods That Power Up Your Workout
Let’s take a look at some of the very best superfoods to include in your pre-workout meals to maximize your workout performance, and what makes each one so powerful:
1. Chia Seeds
These tiny seeds pack a serious punch in the nutrition stakes. The use of these seeds goes back to ancient times, and their potential to boost endurance is what has made them so popular over time.
Chia is packed full of almost every nutrient you can think of: omega 3, tons of vitamins and minerals and lots of fiber and protein.
Improved endurance and mental function are two of the big benefits of consuming chia seeds and these areas are clearly vital to your workout performance.
We know that salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids and is a great lean protein source. So while it’s a good source of energy pre-workout, salmon is also highly useful for your post workout health as it helps reduce inflammation, aids recovery of the muscles and as a result, helps your muscle tissue to grow.
These oily nuts are another good omega-3 source and are also high in protein. Walnuts make an ideal snack when you need a protein boost, which aids in muscle performance and post workout recovery.
You might have written off quinoa as a trendy hipster fad food – but this is a food that has super properties and is worth our attention. The high protein content of quinoa speaks for itself. It can provide over 15% of your daily protein requirements in just one serving. Quinoa is also a wholegrain making it a superb source of energy for your workouts.
Probably the most familiar superfood of modern times, kale is called super for a reason.
It’s full of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins and is particularly useful in your workout diet thanks to its ability to help ward off inflammation and promote bone health. So it can not only fuel your workout, but also aid in your recovery.
6. Sweet Potato
A much better source of carbohydrates than white potatoes thanks to their lower glycemic index which does not spike your blood sugar levels, and due to their higher level of vitamins and fiber.
7. Beetroot Juice
Maybe not the most well known superfood around, but don’t write it off because beetroot and its juice have some unique benefits for athletes, including the way it can help build up your oxygen capacity – and that can make all the difference with lifting those few extra reps at the end of a workout.
Perhaps the original superfood, the humble blueberry is still highly recommended for its potent antioxidants (more than any other fruit). But in addition, blueberries are also an excellent source of carbohydrates which, unlike unhealthy carbs, won’t have your insulin levels spiking so you’ll retain your energy for longer throughout your workout.
With its healthy fats that can act as precursors to testosterone, avocado has obvious benefits to your workouts and muscle growth. This contributes to both the rebuilding of the muscle post-workout, and muscle gains.
A staple in the diet of most bodybuilders thanks to the protein punch it packs. That’s not all though – eggs are also rich in amino acids, choline and vitamin D and these are vitally important to muscle growth. By eating eggs before a workout the protein will help you improve both your performance and your muscle recovery afterwards.
And there we have it: ten of the most powerful superfoods that will supercharge your workout performance to the next level!