It’s no secret that the pages of ROCKET FUEL are filled with encouragement to turn to foods that you would find in the supermarket and bulk stores as a method of fueling your active lifestyle. Which is why I am always mining the research looking for more proof that sports nutrition can be so much more than gels, chews and neon sports drinks. So it’s my pleasure to present three items that can give you some Olympic power.
Tart Cherry Juice
If you’re an athlete or even weekend warrior, it’s a good idea to see red. British researchers provide football (soccer) players with 30 milliliters of Montmorency tart cherry juice mixed with 100 milliliters of water twice per day – once in the morning and once in the evening – or a placebo drink. It was discovered that drinking tart cherry juice lead to a decrease in a key marker of inflammation associated with exercise, helped the athletes maintain greater functional muscle performance and also brought about a decrease self-reported post-workout muscle soreness. In other words, making Montmorency tart cherry juice part of your nutrition program could help you recover better and perform to a higher standard during subsequent workouts.
Here’s a good reason why you shouldn’t shun the canned fish aisle of the supermarket. Scientists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas showed that consuming high amounts of fish oil may help lessen delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) following resistance training. Fish oil contains the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which may work on a cellular level to limit the stress in the body that brings about post-exercise muscle owies. The study provided participants with a fish oil supplement, but you can also obtain high amounts of omega-3 fats by eating fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, herring and rainbow trout more often. As a bonus, these swimmers are rich in protein for better muscle recovery and growth.
After a sweaty, hard workout consider reaching for moo juice. A new British Journal of Nutrition study discovered that milk can help restore your fluid levels after a spirited exercise session. In the study, active men took part in exercise designed to bring about dehydration and then followed this up by consuming milk, a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink or water. It turned out that milk did the best job at promoting whole-body net fluid balance, or in other words restoring hydration status. It seems that the fluid in milk works synergistically with its nutrients to promote better rehydration. Previous research has demonstrated that chocolate milk contains a dynamic duo of carbs and protein to kick start better post-training muscle recovery.
Learn how to use these and other power foods to reach new exercise heights in the pages of ROCKET FUEL.
In Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports & Adventure, award-winning dietitian Matt Kadey offers up 120 delicious, creative, and convenient real-food recipes to power your everyday exercise and weekend adventures.
Rocket Fuel is available now in bookstores, outdoors stores, and online from these online retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Chapters/Indigo and MEC.ca in Canada
Food photography by Aaron Colussi.