Why it’s good: It’s loaded with bromelain, which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory that could accelerate muscle repair.
When to eat it: Eat pineapple after a workout.
Why it’s good: High in muscle-fuelling protein and healthy fats for sustained energy.
When to have it: A tablespoon spread on a piece of whole-grain toast or rice cake can power up your workout as well as giving you a hit of protein
Why it’s good: Beetroot is a really magical workout food. In short, a few days’ consumption of beetroot juice seems to produce remarkable physiological benefits for endurance athletes such as cyclists. In particular, by enhancing blood flow in muscles, six days of beetroot juice consumption (half a litre per day) appears to be able to reduce the amount of oxygen needed by exercising muscles to sustain a given sub-maximal (i.e. not flat-out) workload, thereby increasing the muscles’ efficiency and tolerance to high-intensity exercise, and extending endurance.
When to have it: Try juicing a beetroot with an apple to make a delicious performance boosting drink.
Why they’re good: Chia seeds have near double the protein of other seeds and grains, approximately five times the calcium of milk and double the potassium of bananas, plus being a great aid to digestion. Athletes need to keep their bones strong and the calcium from chia seeds is especially easy for the body to absorb.
When to have it: They make a great snack 15 to 20 minutes after the workout For example, try adding a handful of chia seeds to your post-workout smoothie, or to a bowl of fruit or cereal.
Why it’s good::Kefir a fermented milk product similar to yogurt. It is particularly rich in vitamins B1 and B2, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin A. What makes kefir unique is the fermentation process, which makes it extremely easy to digest. This lets the body focus on assimilating and absorbing nutrients and protein, necessary for muscle growth and regeneration. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in kefir, relaxes the nervous system and is used to make niacin and serotonin. Serotonin is thought to produce healthy sleep and a stable mood making the food ideal for late-night exercisers.
When to have them: Kefir makes a quick and easy recovery drink 30 minutes post-workout
TIP: Better known for its benefits for digestive health, kefir helps restore healthy intestinal bacteria destroyed by long-term refined and processed diets or frequent use of antibiotics. To optimize digestion, sprinkle some ground flaxseed or Chia seeds on your kefir.
Why they’re good: Bananas are packed full of vitamins and minerals. But more importantly, muscles are stimulated by electrical impulses and the potassium and sodium in bananas have fundamental role in this.
When to have them: Eat bananas 30 to 40 minutes prior to exercise because they’re easy to digest and a good energy source. research has shown that just 2 bananas provide enough energy for a 90 minute workout.
All tips are provided by Slice Live’s Ballet and Pilate instructor Denise Teh – www.slicelive.com.