20 Essential Superfoods for Athletic Endurance

How can you eat well, perform well, and do it all over again week after week? You eat right. Well, you eat only the best. You don’t need a fancy chef or personal shopper to find an amazing superfood for athletic endurance. We can help you.

What is a superfood? Where can you buy superfoods? How much is this going to cost me? Relax. Finding superfood for athletic endurance is easy when you take us along with you.

You might be eating a superfood right now without even knowing it.

What is a Superfood?

It’s not a food with a little red cape, but it should be. Superfoods are foods that are nutritionally-dense. These foods are often plant-based, but they can dairy, whole grains and fish too. There is no single food group for superfoods, but you can find superfoods in each food group.

The food groups are: fruits, grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy. Bye, bye pyramid from the 90s that allowed for oils and sweets. If you want a super body and super endurance, say no to fatty foods and sugars.

The American Heart Association says there is no criteria for what is considered to be a superfood. However, many foods on the superfood list are incredible for you, your health, and your endurance.

What’s in a Superfood?

When you shop for a superfood for athletic performance, look for vibrant foods that are packed with the following:

  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • High in vitamins and minerals
  • Protein
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fiber
  • Ellagic acid
  • Peptides, especially peptide AICAR for endurance

A Pep-What? AICAR?

A peptide; it is a protein component that is composed of two or more amino acids bonded by a single peptide bond in a chain. They are small proteins. If fewer than 50 amino acids are present, it is typically a peptide. Peptide research reveals peptides are necessary for body function. Consuming peptides is necessary for the body to work effectively and efficiently. AICAR is a peptide that improves the functionality of nutrient stores in the body’s cells responsible for producing energy.

How do Superfoods Improve Athletic Endurance?

Diet plays a huge role in athletic endurance. Whether an athlete is an elite swimmer or a Pee-Wee football quarterback, food sustains, food strengthens, and food powers, but not just any food. Superfood for athletic endurance includes foods that are from mother earth. These foods are the best sources for minerals, nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

The ideal diet for athletes is not much different that recommended diets for stay-at-home moms, 9-to-5 professionals, teens, or baby boomers. A healthy diet is necessary to finish any kind of race, from the track to the boardroom. Diets rich in superfoods provide the right amount of healthy calories, natural carbohydrates, fluids, iron, vitamins and minerals.

Wait! Aren’t Carbohydrates and Calories Bad?

Not so fast. Do not confuse natural carbs and calories with empty calories and processed carbs. The truth is: you need carbs for energy during your exercise. That athletic endurance you crave comes from the energy carbs produce. A little more than half of your calories should come from your carbs.

Carbs, such as those found in whole-grain superfoods, should be eaten before you exercise, compete or train. If you will be active for more than an hour, you need HEALTHY carbs. Consume healthy carbs without overdoing it on fat and simple sugars. Once you are done, it is okay to eat carbs to replenish the stored energy in your muscles.

What to Remember When Buying Superfoods

When you head to the grocery store, remember a few tips when you buy superfoods.

  • Superfoods have super colors. They are vibrant and colorful.
  • Superfoods are super natural. You will not find a superfood in the frozen pizza aisle or bakery.
  • Superfoods are super simple. When it comes to superfoods, remember that there is only one ingredient: the food itself. Superfoods do not have a long list of ingredients, and they certainly don’t have chemicals. Superfoods have nutrients and vitamins, not artificial colors and modified ingredients.

Superfood Shopping List

Now that you know what to look for, let’s go shopping. When you are at the market, make sure these superfoods for athletic endurance go in the cart first.

  1. Acai Berries
acai berry

Acai berries pop up on every superfood article. You can put acai berries in smoothies, teas, juices and more. Acai berries The berry pulp is loaded with antioxidants. There are more antioxidants in acai berries than in raspberries, cranberries, blueberries and strawberries. Acai berries are great for your skin, hair and overall health.

  1. Almonds

There isn’t much you cannot do with almonds. Almonds are a superfood because of their nutritional content and their superpowers. Almonds are a great alternative to popcorn and chips because they boost your health and make you feel full longer, which help you cut unhealthy fats out of your diet.

How do almonds improve athletic endurance? Almonds are loaded with vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Almonds are also an excellent source of fiber and protein. Fiber is critical for a healthy body weight and digestive system. The presence of fiber in your gut gives almonds prebiotic properties to help keep your digestive tract healthy. Enjoy almonds raw, roasted, as a milk, and more.

  1. Apples

Did you know that eating an apple instead of pouring a cup of coffee is just as beneficial? In fact, eating an apple in the morning provides more health benefits than coffee does. Apples give you that boost you need to perform better and stronger.

What’s in apples that makes them super? First of all, apples are one of the most important fruits. One apple is loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, vitamins and minerals. In addition to boosting athletic endurance, apples provide lifelong health benefits. Eating apples has been to everything from healthy, white teeth to Alzheimer’s prevention. More apple super powers are:

  • Prevents certain cancers
  • Decreases risk of diabetes
  • Promotes a healthy heart
  • Prevents gallstones
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Curbs Parkinson’s
  • Defeats bloating, constipation and diarrhea
  • Jumpstarts your immune system
  • Detoxes the body
  • Aids in a healthy, controlled weight
  1. Avocado

Could avocado be one of the world’s healthiest foods? Absolutely. The avocado is loaded with carotenoids, vitamins, minerals and healthy Omega fatty acids. If you thought the banana was the king of potassium, think again. Avocados are packed with magnesium, phosphorous, iron and higher levels of potassium than the banana. 

Avocadoes reduce your risk for heart disease, improve heart health, lower your cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, boost your immune system, prevent certain cancers, aid in digestion, and much more. Avocado also act as anti-inflammatory agents, which is crucial for athletes. Anti-inflammatory properties improve athletic performance and recovery, as well as aid in rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

  1. Blueberries

Many athletes toss berries in juices, teas, smoothies and dishes. Blueberries are one of the most popular berries, and with their nutrient-dense properties and benefits, it is easy to see why. What do athletes need from blueberries? All of it. Blueberries are great for a healthy body, for a strong immune system, energy, and body recovery. The little blue fruit is loaded with fiber, flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins C and K, manganese and water. Blueberries are the most antioxidant-dense fruit. It even beats out popular veggies.

What does a blueberry do for your health and athletic endurance? Blueberries have the unique ability to:

  • protect against aging and certain types of cancers
  • reduce DNA damage
  • neutralize free radicals
  • protect against heart disease and high blood pressure
  • lower cholesterol
  • improve brain function
  • improve memory
  • Prevent common bladder infections
  • Boost energy
  • Aid in muscle restoration and reduce muscle fatigue
  • Boost muscle recovery
  1. Broccoli

Your mother was right: you need to eat your broccoli. Your body and your game will thank you. Broccoli is loaded with everything essential for your best performance at work, at home and in the gym. Broccoli is often referred to as an all-star food because of its amazing nutritional makeup. Broccoli has Vitamins K and C, loads of fiber, folate, potassium and minerals.

  1. Celery

Let’s be honest: celery is an overlooked treasure. Celery can do no wrong. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, you actually burn more calories when you chew it, and celery is loaded with water. Celery makes an excellent pre-workout snack and a post-game refresher. Celery contains flavonoids, pheromones, Vitamin A, and much more.

Just one stalk of celery is loaded with a plethora of health benefits:

  • Stress reducer
  • Healthy snack
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves digestion
  • Balances alkaline in body
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Prevents certain types of cancers and diseases
  • Lowers blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Pumps up circulation
  1. Coconut

Drink it, shred it, dry it, or buy the oil. However you can get it, eat it. Coconut is another amazing superfood that keeps you active, keeps you healthy, and keeps you hydrated. Coconuts are one of the most nutritious fruits. Coconuts are loaded with fiber, protein, iron and Vitamin C. You can drink the water in the coconut and eat the flesh. Don’t overlook the coconut when you are out on your shopping run.

  1. Green Beans
green beans

If it’s green, it’s golden. Green foods are an excellent source for vitamins and minerals for optimal fitness ability. One that you avoided as a kid is the green bean. Give it a chance. Those snappy green treats can prevent certain types of cancers and diseases, boost the immune system, and aid in healthy digestion.

Green beans pack a powerful punch with Vitamins A, C, K, and B6. As if that wasn’t enough, beans are loaded with folic acid, potassium, copper, iron, calcium and manganese. If you don’t like green beans, it’s because you haven’t explored the bean. There are more than 150 types of green beans, which mean you are sure to find a bean you love.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are one of the foods that is the highest source for dietary proteins that contain peptides. A peptide found in egg yolk can influence bone metabolism protection, which impacts osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a very real problem for endurance runners.

While many athletes don’t consider themselves to be at risk for osteoporosis, they are. Running is a weight-bearing exercise, which is one of the recommendations for preventing osteoporosis, but there is more to it. Many endurance athletes, such as runners, already have lower-than-normal bone density.

What else is in an egg? The egg gets a bad rap in the US. For the sake of this article, we aren’t talking about the humane controversy of eating eggs but the health aspects of the egg. What’s the problem? Cholesterol. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it too much? Do the health benefits out-weight the bad?

Eggs are a nutrient-packed food. Eggs contain choline, all B vitamins, phosphorus, riboflavin, selenium, calcium, vitamin D and amino acids. Which brings us back to the peptides.

  1. Flax
flax seeds

You knew it was coming. Flax is a superfood-list superstar. It’s like talking about superheroes and not mentioning Super Man. Flax is a favorite among athletes. Many athletes seek out flax seeds because they are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, fiber and protein. These are all the building blocks of a healthy body and mind. Athletes put flax seeds in cereals, on baked goodies, in snack bars, and even in health smoothies. In addition to regular flax seeds, you can find flax seed oil for cooking.

  1. Kale

Kale is staple in many athletes’ diets. Kale is a popular, yet misunderstood superfood. Kale is the one of the most nutrient-dense foods ever. There is not a whole lot kale doesn’t have in it. Kale is an excellent source for manganese, Vitamins A, C, B6 and K, Magnesium, fiber, iron, calcium, copper, and potassium. What that means is kale can help you achieve your fitness goals by providing you with the richest source of nutrients and minerals to sustain endurance.

  1. Kiwi

This little green fruits are unique little treasures. Kiwi is a good source for fiber and nutrients. Your body will benefit from Vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, Vitamin A, fiber, protein and iron. You can eat kiwi in a salad or smoothie, frozen as a snack or dessert, and in your iced tea.

  1. Milk

Milk is a surprising superfood for many, but it is a perfect drink for athletes. Milk is loaded with calcium, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and magnesium. Milk is good for athletes’ bones, as it can protect against osteoporosis. Athletes drink milk to bulk up and to promote muscle growth and repair. Choose low-percent milks, opt for a yogurt, select lactose-free milk, or find a special blend of milk for athletic performance.

  1. Oats

It’s time to eat breakfast again. There is a bit of debate about the “most important meal of the day,” but it is definitely one of the tastiest. If you want to boost your athletic endurance, make your own oatmeal at home. As we said before, whole grains are essential for producing energy for athletes. Oats can improve options for gluten-free diets, boost the immune system, lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, and prevent against certain cancers. Oats are loaded with fiber, B1, magnesium and antioxidants.

  1. Oranges

Live healthier and feel better when by adding oranges to the grocery list. Oranges are rich in calcium, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and minerals. Oranges aid in digestion, they have cancer-fighting properties, they protect your skin, they boost the immune system, and they taste amazing. You can squeeze juice for breakfast, add oranges to s drink, or you can just slice them open and eat them for a nice snack. Many athletes choose to snack on oranges after an intensive workout.

  1. Pomegranate

You don’t need a fancy juice to enjoy the benefits of pomegranates before and after a workout. You can pop the seeds in your mouth for a refreshing and invigorating snack or you can sprinkle them on your salad. Pomegranates contain fiber, potassium, Vitamins C and K, protein, folate and punicalagins. Pomegranates are great for your immune system, energy, and your mental well-being. Pomegranates are especially useful for athletes because they may reduce inflammation and reduce joint pain.

  1. Pumpkin

Think beyond the Jack-o-lantern and lattes. Embrace pumpkins as a wonderful squash for excellent skin, a healthy body, and an energized workout. Pumpkins can boost your mood and aid in recovering from your extensive workout. Pumpkins are loaded with potassium, which means energy abounds because of the refueling properties. The potassium is also useful for recovery because it allows the body to balance its electrolytes.

  1. Salmon and Tuna
salmon and tuna

Athletes need the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in their diets and fish is the way to go. No, this isn’t fish sticks from a box. Pick up fresh tuna or salmon when you go to the market. Salmon and tuna aid in reducing inflammation and restoring the body. Consider it as your after-work-out snack or meal. Dry it, cook it, bake it or slice it. However, you can add tuna or salmon to your diet, do it.

  1. Sweet Potato
sweet potato

Last but not least: the sweet potato. The sweet potato is good for more than marshmallows around the holidays. Sweet potatoes are good on the grill, sliced on a sandwich, cubed into a burrito, and smashed on the side of a plate. Why do athletes choose sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are packed with riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B5 and B6, thiamin, niacin, and more.

We’ve helped you with the list, and now you it’s time to go shopping. Combine multiple superfoods with your peptides – especially peptide AICAR for endurance – and watch your athletic performance improve. You will perform better, feel better, and live a healthier life.