Eat These Spring Favorites for Performance and Recovery

Load up on in-season items at your local farmers market (or grocery store) and reap the benefits.
Maple Syrup
Trendy runners know that maple syrup is in this season. It might be your new favorite energy gel for those long runs (yes!) or your buckwheat pancake topping.  Sought after as a natural source of quick fuel, maple syrup offers runners energy from a blend of (primarily) sucrose, glucose, and fructose, along with a few traces of various vitamins and minerals.
In general, the darker the color, the stronger the maple flavor but whichever grade you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy this grassroots fuel option whether you’re running long or short this spring.
All pea varieties—sugar, peas, green—will add color and nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin A to your diet.  Grab a pound or two the next time you’re at the market (peas are in season April through June), blanch, and serve these fiber- and nutrient-rich gems with dip on a cruditĂ©s platter instead of no-nutrient club crackers.
These beet-uties are brimming with antioxidants, flavor, and endurance-enhancing dietary inorganic nitrate. In other words, whether steamed, boiled, roasted, or pickled, beets have been shown to improve muscle efficiency and increase endurance exercise tolerance, most specifically in untrained and moderately trained athletes.
Many athletes report that when they include beets or a supplement containing an effective dose (look for an actual amount of beets on the label and not just a dusting of beet for color or flavor) their performance improves and they breathe a bit easier.
What’s not to love about polyphenol-rich berries and cherries that are starting to appear at your farmers market? These nutritional powerhouses can be consumed before and after long runs to help you fend off oxidative damage and promote recovery. Add berries to as many dishes as possible—oatmeal topping, smoothies, goat cheese and spring mix salads.
#health #performance #recovery #athlete  #swimming #cycling #running #fitness #exercise #endurance #nutrition #fuel

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