10 Peak Performance Foods
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Once you begin to eat for performance rather than of the habitual patterns of stress and anxiety eating, you'll find your stress and anxiety becomes reduced.
Sardines are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, aiding in athletic performance recovery. This tiny fish contains high levels of B-12, which is essential in cardiovascular health and aids in keeping high levels of energy throughout the day. Vitamin D is also essential for immune and lung health, an important factor to aiding in peak performance, and sardines contain Vitamin D in levels comparable to tuna, without the toxic levels of mercury. Sardines are high in calcium, assisting in bone health and boosting cardiovascular health by helping your heart operate efficiently and pump out enough blood. In addition to the amazing health benefits above, sardines contain the health boosting benefits of zinc, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Dark leafy greens are rich in a compound called nitrates which cause the blood vessels to produce more nitric oxide, which aids in peak performance by dilating blood vessels for oxygen carrying capacity. Of the greens Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, spinach and arugula, arugula is by far the highest in nitrates.
Anthocyanins have been shown to have a protective effect to cardiovascular health and optimizing sports performance. Anthocynanins exert anti-inflammatory effects on the body and reduce oxidative stress. The ability of anthocyanins to increase peripheral blood flow, cardiac output, and vasodilation has resulted in many areas of research. A few notable berries with high levels of anthocyanins are New Zealand black currents, tart cherry juice and blueberries.
Several recent studies have proven that beetroot increases not only athletic endurance and stamina, but promotes cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and reducing free radical damage. Research also finds that beetroot juice elevate blood nitrate levels and reduces oxygen requirements during medium and high intensity exercise training.
The natural sugars in sweet potatoes are a slow release carb into the blood stream, providing sustained and balanced energy for fueling athletic performance and brain performance. Sweet potatoes will not result in blood sugar spikes and then the infamous sugar crash of many other carbs, making this tuber a great choice for peak performance. Another great benefit to these vitamin rich orange fleshed powerhouses, is Quercetin, a dietary flavonoid, that reduces inflammation, and bolsters the health of impaired immunity following heavy athletic performances, thus may increase endurance.
Adding the combination of turmeric/ginger/ginseng as a daily part of your peak performance supplementation program will allow for faster recovery by the reduction of inflammation of muscle tissues. Turmeric is a great pain reliever, fights inflammation, and helps repair damaged muscle tissues, leading to less stress and better sleep in between workouts.. Ginger eases muscular pain, improves circulation, reduces inflammation and boosts immunity incurred after strenuous workouts. Ginseng has shown to have ergogenic effects, thus increasing endurance, and enhances the muscles ability to utilize oxygen.
Protein powders & Amino Acid supplementation
The primary functions of protein are to form and repair muscle tissues, enzyme production and the regulation of metabolism. Finding a great protein powder to add to a morning smoothie, a protein bar mid-day as well as the supplementation of glutamine, arganine/ornathine, and branch chain amino acids will provide a well rounded addition to your peak performance regimen.
Steel-cut oats are minimally processed and have a lower glycemic response, which means they take longer to digest, which is ideal for blood sugar levels, and makes them a great choice if losing weight is part of your peak performance goals. Steel cut oats are a nutrient dense choice, provide a great fiber option for elimination, makes you feel full longer, a perfect food for heart health, and an amazing energy source.
Eggs are high in protein, and a whole food source of amino acids, and a low calorie, low carb option if trying to lose weight. I prefer my eggs come from a free-range source, where the chickens have been fed diets free of GMO soy or GMO grains. Fresh sprout-fed or grass-fed chickens from someone in your local area is an amazing choice over grocery store eggs that may sit on shelves for weeks before being sold.
Seeds & Nuts
Organic nuts and seeds are the perfect addition to adding more whole food proteins to your diet for peak performance. I suggest organic whenever possible, sprouted whenever possible and raw for best results. The sprouting process makes seeds and nuts more easily digestible by releasing their enzyme capability, as well as aiding in the removal of the seed and nuts natural insect-protective toxins that are contained in the skin.