food that gives energy and stamina

3 Functional Foods that Gives Energy and Stamina – Best Endurance Foods

Fuelling your body before a workout or a competition with the right energy and nutrients is fundamental for maximising performance. Eating a variety of foods, “a rainbow a day”, is the best way to ensuring your body receives an abundant supply of all nutrients allowing your body to perform, recover and develop after each training session.

Nutrient deficiencies are the main cause for premature fatigue, and a common reason for this can be a reduction in the amount of red blood cells or haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carry oxygen in the blood. This will result in reduced oxygen availability and transport of nutrients to the working muscle, ultimately impairing energy production.

Iron, copper, vitamin A, B6, B9 and B12 all aid in red blood cell and haemoglobin production, therefore its essential to include them in your diet regularly. Here are 3 foods that you should include in your diet to promote the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to maximise endurance performance.

Best Foods for Energy and Stamina

  1. Liver
  2. Kale
  3. Beetroot

1. Liver is One of the Best Foods for Endurance

Protein foods like seafood, poultry and animal meats, particularly red meat are well known for being a great source of iron. Iron comes in 2 forms, heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron, which is found in meat, is better absorbed than plant-based non-heme iron. Therefore, eating meat enhances the availability of haemoglobin production.

Of all the red meats to choose from, the liver is significantly richer in all of the micronutrients that contribute to red blood cell and haemoglobin production (see table below). One to two servings of liver per week is a good way to supply your body with these essential nutrients and promote energy metabolism. There’s very little difference in nutrient content between different types of liver, so if you’re thinking which animal’s liver you should eat just choose whichever you prefer to eat.

Nutrition for Endurance Athletes Through Liver?

The liver is great for providing nutrition for endurance athletes as from 100 grams beef liver you can get 8.8 mg Iron, 12.0 mg Copper, 30,400 IU Vitamin A, 0.76 mg Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine, 145.0 mcg Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid, and 111.3 mcg Vitamin B12 – Cobalamins. That’s significantly better compared to the nutrition provided by red meat.

Nutrient Red Meat (100g) Beef Liver (100g)
Iron 3.3 mg 8.8 mg
Copper .18 mg 12.0 mg
Vitamin A 40 IU 30,400 IU
Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine .07 mg .73 mg
Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid 4.0 mcg 145.0 mcg
Vitamin B12 – Cobalamins 1.84 mcg 111.3 mcg

2. Kale is a Food That Gives Energy and Stamina

Dark leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of non-heme iron and other nutrients vital for red blood cell production. This makes Kale one of the better stamina foods. Dark leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of non-heme iron and other nutrients vital for red blood cell production. Although heme iron rich foods are better for iron absorption, some people do not eat meat or fish e.g. vegetarians. Therefore other food sources must be included in ample amounts to meet nutrient demands.

Kale is an excellent option that should be eaten regularly in the week. It is rich in vitamins A and B6, copper and can boost protein intake with just 50kcal per 100g. It is also a great source of vitamin C, which can improve the absorption of non-heme iron.

3. Beetroot is a Great Food to Increase Stamina

 So, juicing for energy and stamina is very effective with beetroot. There has been a lot of interesting research in the last 10 years to link beetroot intake with improved performance, primarily the form of juice and highly concentrated shots. This has been attributed to beetroots being naturally rich in nitrates, which are converted to the signalling molecule nitric oxide. Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator allowing for more efficient delivery of oxygen to the working muscles.

Although beetroot is credited for its role in enhanced blood flow, you shouldn’t be surprised that it also contains other nutrients that facilitate healthy blood cell production. It is also a great source of vitamin B9, copper and many other nutrients, but it’s not just the root that should be eaten as the leaves offer similar nutritional properties to kale being rich in iron, vitamins A and C.

FAQs:

Which type of diet promotes maximum endurance performance?

A well-structured nutrition plan that provides sufficient carbohydrates to fuel training is needed to maximize your energy levels. Not all training should be fueled with high intakes of carbohydrates before and during it, as lighter endurance sessions can done be with reduced carbohydrate availability, as this is proven to further enhance the mitochondrial adaptations in the muscles. Over time, this “periodised” strategy will maximize endurance performance.

What is the best drink for stamina?

Water is the best thing any athlete can drink to stay hydrated and maintain performance, however during prolonged training sessions, consuming carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions can provide vital energy to help you maintain intensity throughout.

Who should avoid beetroot?

The only reason to avoid a healthy food like beetroot is if you’re allergic to it, and this is very rare. Beetroot is an excellent food proven to enhance endurance performance as it’s high in nitrates.

Is Kale good after a workout?

Kale is an excellent recovery food after training as it’s high in key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, K, manganese and calcium.

What is the best diet for endurance athletes?

Endurance athletes need a well structured nutrition plan that provides sufficient carbohydrates to fuel training, together with strategic planning for lighter training sessions to be performed with reduced carbohydrate availability, as this is proven to further enhance the mitochondrial adaptations in the muscles. Over time, this “periodised” strategy will maximize endurance performance.

What should I eat during an endurance event?

Simple carbohydrates are the primary energy source during competition, and how much and what athletes will depend on the type and duration of the event, and their personal preferences for consuming carbohydrate gels, drinks, and foods.

How to make an endurance athlete meal plan?

Nutrition should be planned around training sessions to maximize energy availability primarily from carbohydrates, whilst providing sufficient protein and other key nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Why does an endurance athlete need a balanced diet?

Athletes have increased demand for higher intakes of vitamins, minerals, protein, and total calories to support their intense training levels. Eating a varied and balanced diet helps endurance athletes to obtain all of their nutritional requirements.

What is the best nutrition for endurance athletes?

Endurance athletes need a well-structured nutrition plan that provides sufficient carbohydrates to fuel training, together with strategic planning for lighter training sessions to be performed with reduced carbohydrate availability, as this is proven to further enhance the mitochondrial adaptations in the muscles. Over time, this “periodised” strategy will maximize endurance performance.

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