When it comes to nourishing your body, althetes are in the know. They understand that nutrition is essential for how they perform in training, competition and even in daily life.
We asked several of the athletes that we supply to give us their top tips for sports nutrition so that we could pass on their knowledge and share it with the rest of the Sari Foods community.
Most athletes look to a protein rich diet to support their active lifestyle and it's no secret that protein helps muscle repair and growth. But, did you know that not all protein is the same? Plant-based protein sources offer a more bioavailable form of nutrition which means they are more easily broken down and absorbed as they work in unity within the human body.
Vegetarian and vegan proteins like Spirulina and Nutritional Yeast are digested and absorbed faster than animal proteins (like whey). And they also contain a wider array of additional nutrients to help replenish those depleted in the body during exercise. That’s why many professional athletes are now turning to superfood proteins to supercharge their sports performance. Powerful superfoods = powerful you.
Adequate Iron Levels
Another key nutrient to keep topped up when working out is iron. Iron is vital for your gym performance as it helps your body to make haemoglobin. Haemoglobin, or ‘Hb’, is the protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body and gives blood its red colour. Without adequate haemoglobin levels, the transportation of oxygen from our lungs to our muscles is inhibited, leaving us feeling tired and low energy which can in turn impact on our workout.
Professional athletes place top priority on maintaining balanced iron levels, emphasising how key it is to performing well and keeping energy levels up in the gym. However, our superfoodie athletes also highlighted the importance of consuming iron in its natural form as many of the synthetically manufactured iron supplements on the market are difficult to absorb and can often do more harm than good. They recommended Spirulina as an excellent all natural source of iron, Sari Foods Organic Spirulina contains 30% of your iron recommended daily amount in just one serving - thats more than Popeye's beloved spinach!
Supporting your body to adequately absorb the nutrients you are putting in and balance those against the nutrients you are using up during your work out, can sometimes require a little extra assistance. Vitamin C is a powerful enhancer of Iron absorption, it is also essential for the production of carnitine - the amino acid that makes you burn fat for energy and is necessary for collagen production to help support healthy joints. So enhance your nutrient absorption by taking Sari Foods Natural Vitamin C and Sari Foods Organic Spirulina together for synergistic nutritional support. The same applies to a natural vitamin C as it does to a natural source of iron (as indeed it does with most vital nutrients), always go for natural over synthetic.
Natural foods contain everything your body needs to digest, absorb and use the goodness they offer – i.e. the vitamin and minerals are packaged up in combinations that work together for a much better result. Sari Foods Natural Vitamin C made from Organic Acerola Cherries contains 833% of your required daily intake in just one serving and the Vitamin C in one Acerola Cherry matches that in 65 oranges!
During & Post Workout
To get nutrients back in to their bodies quickly after intense exercise, our Sari Foodie athletes recommend taking a home made superfood protein smoothie along to the gym to sip at while you work out or to enjoy immediately afterwards. By making sure that your protein smoothie contains plant-based protein, a source of iron and natural vitamin C, you offer your body a chance to absorb much needed nutrition quicker and enhance your recovery period. For example, spirulina is the most digestible protein food on the planet. Sari Foods Organic Spirulina contains 65g of protein in every 100g along with iron, magnesium, beta-carotine, B12, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, antioxidants and essential amino acids (GLA, Omega 3, 6 & 9s) which will not only keep your protein levels up but also your stores of these other all important nutrients. For inspiration try our Plant-based Protein Power House Smoothie recipe.
Also make sure that you eat your next meal around 1 hour after working out and make it a protein rich one! Lots of beans, pulses and lentils and sprinkle them all with a serving of Sari Foods Non-fortified Nutritional Yeast for that delicious umami taste, 50% plant-based complete protein, 18 essential amino acids and an all important vitamin B complex.
Rest is vital for recovery and building up energy reserves which our bodies rely on at busy times. So find time to relax and rest from your busy stressful lifestyle. Make sure you get enough sleep and by giving our bodies the right nutrition, we can keep our batteries charged to tackle the day ahead - workout included!