The following are essential in getting the most of your workouts and day-to-day activity:
1) Water The most important thing is to drink plenty of water. Water is essential to the proper chemical functioning of every single cell in your body. You will find it hard to perform at your best without proper hydration.
2) Apple Apples are high in nutritive value and low in calories. When you eat a food rich in glucose or fructose, your digestive system has ready access to this energy source. A perfect post-workout snack or try adding to salads.
3) Nut Butter Nut butters are a favourite for many athletes because they are packed with protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. Almond butters are mostly minimally processed and have no added salt, sugars or fats.
A tasty snack with fruit or oatcakes, rice cakes or wholemeal bread.
4) Cottage Cheese Cottage cheese has no lactose and is considered an excellent source of protein. It is also portable and requires no cooking, making it good high-protein food when you are on the go.
Add to a jacket potato or salad.
5) Tuna Fresh tuna is always best but if you have to use the tinned version then make sure it’s packed in water which makes it significantly lower in calories that the oil version. Tuna is an ideal form of protein which will keep you full for longer and helps to build muscle.
Grilled tuna with vegetables makes a perfect post workout dinner. Tuna salad is a great pre-workout snack.
6) Turkey Another great source of healthy low fat protein, turkey is easily digested and so won’t cause any digestive upset during exercise. Perfect for a pre-workout snack.
Try a turkey wrap snack or a hearty turkey and bean chilli for lunch.
7) Quinoa Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that contains more protein than any other grain or rice. Ideal for post-workout meals to help build muscle.
Quinoa is a great replacement for wheat or refined carbohydrates. Eat in place of bread, rice or pasta. Serve with low fat protein and fresh vegetables or salad.
8) Wholemeal Bread Carbohydrates are essential for providing the energy you require for activity. Whole grains such as whole wheat bread are extremely beneficial as they contain more fibre and protein than refined grains and deliver more energy to your body.
Have on the side of soup or start your day with some eggs, wholemeal toast and tomatoes. A wholemeal bread sandwich or wrap can boost your energy before a workout.
9) Whole-wheat Pasta A pasta dish that includes a source of protein allows you to replenish the necessary nutrients in your body and recover quickly. Whole-wheat pasta provides the health benefits of whole grain along with plenty of energy boosting carbohydrates.
Alternatively try a vegetarian pasta dish loaded with leeks and mushrooms for extra vitamins.
10) Baked potatoes Baked potatoes may be one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet if you choose the right toppings. They provide a great source of potassium, which helps ensure proper function of your heart and muscles.
Easily available from most delis and cafes or try baking a sweet potato at home. Serve with tuna, chicken or turkey and salad.