Athletes are always searching for ways to find a competitive edge, with nutrition being a crucial element of athletic efficacy. But which foods and drinks are the most desirable for an athlete? And how are you going to consume all these performance boosters before the big match? It turns out a blender and a handful of healthful ingredients is your solution. Smoothies are the perfect way to deliver key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need to get your best performance on the pitch, all in an easy-to-digest format.
The Effect of Macronutrients
The best place to start when designing your nutrition-packed pre-match smoothie is with your macronutrient count. Macronutrients are the main nutrients that make up the foods we eat. There are only three: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source and are absolutely crucial to endurance athletes. Two great sources of carbs that make wonderful smoothie ingredients are old-fashioned oats and nut butter. Oats deliver high levels of clean carbohydrates for sustained energy, while nut butters such as almond butter bring a perfect macronutrient blend of healthy fats along with high-quality proteins and carbs.
Choosing the Right Protein Powder
The fitness supplement market is saturated with a plethora of protein powder brands. Opt for an option that is low in sugar and artificial sweeteners, but high in nutrition. Read the ingredients label carefully. If you have food allergies, be aware that many protein powders are derived from dairy or soy. Fortunately, there are alternative options for those in need; you just have to be aware when making your selection. This will keep your smoothies as clean as possible and give your body the best results. And don’t forget to pick a great tasting flavor! Vanilla and chocolate are the best for smoothies as they blend with other flavors very easily.
The Power of Green Smoothies
A diet with a foundation of fruits and vegetables has been proven to reinforce the body against ailments such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and digestive issues. It is critical for soccer players to eat high quantities of this food group to prime their bodies for competition. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are a fantastic supply of nutrition including non-dairy calcium, magnesium, Vitamin-C, and iron, and make for an excellent smoothies base. These nutrients directly correlate to athletic performance, as they exhibit reduced cramping and fatigue, regulate blood pressure, and help carry oxygen through the bloodstream while eliminating carbon dioxide.
Fruits for Flavor and Results
Fruit not only provides amazing flavor to your smoothie but brings with it additional benefits as you round out the ingredients to your perfect soccer-shake. Bananas are an absolute must as they provide large doses of potassium and carbohydrates, essential elements for endurance and recovery. A handful of berries, (try blueberries or raspberries) serve as a delicious antioxidant boost and aid in reducing post-match fatigue, as does pineapple with its anti-inflammatory properties. Fruits are the perfect source of natural sugars and flavorings to make your smoothies delicious.
Go for Goal!
Whether you’re aiming to win the World Cup for your country, or simply trying to elevate your personal game, adequate nutrition is a factor that cannot be overlooked. For the easiest and tastiest way to give your body everything it needs for peak performance, a smoothie should be your go-to snack.