Tuesday, February 23, 2016

7 Super Foods for the Endurance Athlete Part I

When we began developing our endurance fuel, Race Rx, keeping modified and synthetic items off the ingredient list was non-negotiable. After our fuel source, HDA starch was patented, we began looking for other, natural ingredients that would assist athletes in performance. That's when we decided to include Bromelain. Although we have a blog post all about this enzyme found in pineapple, we thought it would be fun to explore other and natural foods that improve health, decrease disease and may improve endurance performance.

1. Bromelain:

We'll start with this enzyme found in pineapple because it's at the top of our list at Race Rx. You can eat pineapple all day, but it's unlikely you'll reap the full inflammatory benefits of Bromelain. Although Bromelain is found in all parts of the plant, the largest quantities are found in the stem. The extracted version, specifically, is the best way to ingest this magical ingredient. Bromelain is a natural protease enzyme that helps to digest inflamed and scar tissue. It might also assist the body in producing substances that fight pain and swelling, preventing muscle damage from exercise. Researchers are also finding that Bromelain significantly enhances muscle performance.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 

Omega 3's are polyunsaturated fatty acids. Also included in this polyunsaturated group are Omega 6's and Omega 9's. Mammals are unable to produce these acids, but they are essential for humans in the diet. In fact, Omega 3's are critical for the nervous and cardiovascular systems, as well as reducing inflammation, improving immunity and brain function. One of the best ways to get the (minimum) recommended 500 milligrams is to eat seafood. Walnuts and flaxseed oil are two other great sources.

3. Gingerol: 

Gingerol is the main bioactive compound found in ginger. Gingerol is a true "Superfood" containing many amazing attributes including: acting as an anti-inflammatory, infection-fighter, improving brain function, lowering blood sugars and assisting with GI stress and nausea. The best way to get the benefits of gingerol is to eat the fresh (root) version of ginger. You can make a tea with it or put it in salads. But, our favorite way to eat it is as an ingredient in curry dishes.

Next week, we'll talk about 4 other super foods for endurance athletes in part II of this Race Rx blog!