PERFOMANCE FOODS

by Tess Prince August 2016 CHECK OUT IBIZA Read in PDF format N11/2016
PERFOMANCE FOODS Our food editor recommend the latest trends in healthy, nutritious and delicious dishes.

If you want to perform like a professional athlete, it’s not just about the training. You are what you eat comes into play in every sense. What makes something a performance food? It comes down to three basic factors: fuel, hydration and recovery. There are a few weird and wonderful foods that are trending in the world of sport right now…

Pickle juice. This salty-yet-savory juice has high doses of all-important sodium, potassium and magnesium. It provides athletes a two-for-one with sodium and fluid in one shot and helps the body retain fluid in muscles to eliminate nasty cramping.

Dried tart cherries. Scientists claim the antioxidant-rich plant chemicals in cherries known as anthocyanins help suppress the enzymes that cause inflammation in the body after the stress of exercise and wear and tear on muscles. Tart cherry juice has the ability to reduce muscle pain and weakness; long-distance runners and cyclists can’t get enough of it.

Beetroot juice. The blood-red elixir of this super veg is apparently the hottest thing for Olympic athletes looking for a legal performance boost due to being rich in nitrates that help muscles use oxygen more efficiently. Studies have found that cyclists who drank a pint of beetroot juice before a workout ride 20% longer than those given a placebo.

Black food Rising. It seems that activated charcoal is the latest oddball ingredient to find itself popping up all over the place. Health and wellness circles champion its virtues as a natural detoxifier and many athletes are using it. It’s nothing new - it’s been around since 1550BC where its primary use was as an antidote to poison.

‘No meat athletes’ - Running on Plant Power

The latest ‘no-meat athlete’ trend is proving you don’t need animal products to be at the very top of your game. Vegan marathon runner Matt Frazier has reached celebrity status on social media and documents his regime of ‘running on plants’. There’s a crop of incredibly influential athletes who also follow a plant-based diet (whether vegetarian or fully vegan) and argue it has hugely enhanced their performance. Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis credits his decision to switch to a vegan diet with the best performances of his career. In the tennis world, the Williams sisters are raw vegans and Martina Navratilova - one of the greatest tennis players ever – is a strong advocate of vegetarianism. More unexpectedly, Ironman world champion Dave Scott and boxing legend Mike Tyson claim cutting out meat has made them feel more powerful and explosively energetic. So there you go: it is possible to be a lean, mean, plant-eating machine!

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