Find anyone who works out and you'll likely discover they have a ritual: syncing up their iTunes library, putting on their favorite workout hat or even rolling their shoulders as part of a stretching protocol. We all have our go-to actions that prime us for our regimen, helping to focus our headspace and ready our body.
But when looking at top-level athletes – of any category – you'll notice that nutrition plays a big part of this routine as well. Some of these pros have successfully tapped into the secrets of superfoods to elevate their performance even further. Here's a few of the cutting-edge superfoods that are the most lauded amongst the athletic community as a great way to enjoy a little extra edge:
Condensed Greens: The main antioxidant found in green vegetables is chlorophyll, which is shown to help build red blood cells and increase oxygenation. Better oxygen circulation means greater aerobic capacity – a boon of a benefit for almost any sport. Of course, before a workout, easily digestible foods are of the utmost importance, and no one is suggesting that this is the time you should be sitting down to eat a high-fiber salad. Nevertheless, condensed sources of chlorophyll, like a spoonful of Wheatgrass Powder or spirulina in water, can offer your body all the benefits of chlorophyll without the digestive impairment.
Chia Seeds: Chia Seeds are a known endurance food and are particularly helpful for long bouts of exercise (such as running or cycling). Their well-rounded nutrition of moderate protein, healthy omega fats and complex carbohydrates make them an excellent slow-burning source of fuel, and their small size means they won't weigh you down during your workout. A bonus: Chia Seeds’ naturally occurring minerals include several important electrolytes that help prevent dehydration. Throw some Chia Seeds into your pre-workout drink or drink them while working out to consume small amounts of nutrients without even noticing.
Cordyceps: Your quality of breath can make a huge difference in your ability to push hard in a workout and cordyceps are well known to support these efforts. This medicinal mushroom helps to strengthen the respiratory system as a whole, which can enhance your ability to breathe deeply and better process carbon dioxide. Sold in powdered form, you can add cordyceps to your workout drink or even your morning coffee.