If you care about nutrition, you’ve probably already stumbled upon the three most important macro nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. But which foods are good sources of them? And why do they benefit your health and performance? We’ve put together some essential healthy foods that every Athlete should have at home. Stock these foods in your kitchen at all time to be ready for your next guilt-free and performance boosting meal or snack.
Quark is tasty, highly nutritious and with 14 grams of proteins per 100g serving one of the best natural sources of protein. You can eat it either with fresh fruits or berries or salty with some fresh chives. If quark is not available in your country, choose fat free Greek yoghurt. As it is a little lower in protein thank quark always use a bit more.
Eggs are considered the gold standard that other proteins are measured against. Due to a superior amino acid mix, the egg’s protein is absorbed easily and can be efficiently used by the body. Our tip: Discover various recipes containing eggs such as scrambled egg with tomatoes and feta or spinach egg with yogurt sauce in the Freeletics Nutrition Coach. When cooked, eggs are also suitable as a protein snack on the go.
Why eggs and quark?
Protein, protein and more protein: As a Free Athlete, you actually have a high protein requirement. Therefore, it should make up an essential part of your daily nutrition – may it be for fat-burning, muscle-building or performance-enhancing purposes.
Oats are high in complex carbohydrates and make a perfect start into the day as well as a performance boosting pre-workout meal. Want to go for granola for breakfast? Make sure that whole grains are first on the ingredient list and that there are no added sugars. A good rule of thumb: Your cereal should have at least 4 grams of fibre and less than 8 grams of sugar per serving.
Bananas are high in fibre and a valuable source of micronutrients such as potassium and magnesium, which are extremely important for the reaction ability of muscles. Even if bananas are high in carbs, they can help you reach your weight-loss goals, as they are very high in fibre as well. Finding plain bananas boring? Combine them with peanut butter and whole grain bread and find a delicious recipe for grilled bananas to try unusual.
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. Some types of carbohydrate-rich foods are better than others. Bananas and oats are some examples for high quality carbohydrates.
While most fruit consist primarily of carbohydrates, avocado, which people often mistake for a vegetable, is high in healthy fats and therefore can regulate your cholesterol level. There are many ways to eat avocado. Add it to your salad. Use it as a spread for your whole grain bread. Or prepare a chunky guacamole.
Nuts are not only packed with heart-healthy fats, but also with lots of protein, vitamins, and minerals. A handful of unsalted nuts make a healthy snack any time of the day. Or you just try out peanut butter on your bread instead of cream cheese or butter.
Aren't fats bad?
Fat has a rather bad reputation. But that’s not the whole story. In fact fats are essential for your body, serve as great supplies of energy and have a saturating effect. The only thing you need to watch out for is the right amount: Most people eat too much saturated fats and have a deficiency in unsaturated fats. Avocados and nuts contain those unsaturated fatty acids and are therefore beneficial for your health.
With those foods in your fridge you’ll make sure to grab something healthy whenever you get hungry. Craving for something unhealthy? Keep in mind why you have started and that clean eating actually benefits you in many ways.