Superfoods for Optimal Sports Recovery

Superfoods are foods that provide extra health benefits like disease prevention and increased immune support. In addition, superfoods can enhance our sports performance and recovery at any age whether it’s after a tough workout, sports game, or any physical activity. Children, in particular, need superfoods to power and repair their growing bodies on the field or on the court, so they can continue to improve their skill and stay strong. There are specific foods which provide energy, repair muscles, and restore our health which we’ll discuss as we share these vital Superfoods for Optimal Sports Recovery.

 

Protein and Carbohydrates Post-Workout

Many of us already know the importance of having both protein and carbohydrates after exercising. When we exercise, we use glycogen, our primary energy source, and we need to replenish it so we can carry on with our day after the workout. Carbs increase the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis for faster recovery and more energy. Carbs also help reduce muscle soreness.  In addition, we tear our muscles when we workout and protein helps repair them. Having a protein/carb snack after a workout is the perfect combination to enhance our recovery. Think of a fabulous snack like yogurt (which has both carbs and protein) and fruit (which has carbs), for a balanced combo. *Skip the sugary juice or sports drinks after a workout because you’ll be missing out on the necessary protein.

3 Important Nutrients You Don’t Want to Miss After a Workout

Not only do we need a fabulous protein/carb combo, but we can also benefit from these powerful nutrients in our recovery meals.

1) Leucine: Branch Chain Amino Acid – You may have heard of branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) before. They are essential nutrients that the body gets from protein, and they include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They’re great to have after a workout because they go straight to the muscles for optimal repair.

Leucine, in particular, has been a hot topic in the sports industry because it increases muscle growth and lean body mass and helps the body recover faster from exercise. This is also super important for kids who are constantly growing and need that extra muscle support. 

Leucine-Rich Foods include milk, yogurt, cheese, chicken, beef, tuna, eggs, and tofu. A great way to get in BCAAs post-workout is to enjoy a Clover the Rainbow Smoothie made with milk and yogurt. It provides a high-quality source of leucine to stimulate muscle growth and repair. 

2) Probiotics- Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial for our gut health and immune system. Recent research has suggested that probiotics found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, decrease inflammation caused by exercise, improving our recovery. The gut absorbs and digests key nutrients necessary for our health. When we have a proper, functioning gut, our immune system will remain strong. Intense exercise can cause strain on the immune system, making probiotic consumption important to promote a healthy immune response through a solid, durable gut.

Probiotic-Rich Foods include fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut. Clover the Rainbow Smoothies are packed with billions of probiotics for optimal gut support and immune strength in just one six-ounce, delicious smoothie. 

3) Antioxidants – Antioxidants are substances that reduce oxidation and minimize cell damage from free radicals. If the body can’t remove free radicals efficiently, it can result in oxidative stress, which can harm the body and cause inflammation, respiratory diseases, heart disease, and other health conditions. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory and help the body remain strong.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Beets are high in nitrates that help the blood vessels dilate which increases blood flow to the active muscles during exercise. This helps you feel less taxed during a workout which can save energy.

Blueberries have antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation and oxidative damage both before and after a workout, speeding up recovery.

Carrots have beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which inhibits oxidation and protects the body from free radicals. Carrots are rich in potassium for faster recovery and reduction of fatigue.

Butternut Squash is similar to carrots with its antioxidant content, beta-carotene and other carotenoids. They’re also rich in complex carbs to provide energy for working muscles and glycogen for topping off our energy stores.

Strawberries are packed with vitamin C-rich carbs for both fueling muscle glycogen before a workout and replenishing glycogen stores after a workout. In addition, strawberries contain antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and quercetin, which aid in reducing inflammation and improving recovery.

Clover the Rainbow Smoothies comes in 3 incredible flavors providing a powerhouse of antioxidants with every sip. Enjoy Blueberry Beet, Strawberry Banana Butternut, and Strawberry Carrot, for a nutrient-packed, energy-rich recovery snack to refuel and recover in one tasty drink. Making life simple and delicious is the best.

Superfoods for Super Recovery

How do we combine all these awesome superfoods for optimal sports recovery into one? Through a smoothie, of course! Clover the Rainbow Smoothies contain 8 grams of protein, carbs, leucine, probiotics, and antioxidants, to optimize repair and recovery and enhance energy. These fabulous smoothies are a fantastic way to easily get in your complete recovery needs. Throw the smoothie in your gym bag for an on-the-go, quick and efficient, post-workout recovery snack. They’re kid and adult-friendly for a wonderful option the entire family will enjoy. What’s not to love about simple, efficient, delicious, and nutritious? And the best part is, you have 3 different flavors and colors to choose from for variety and extra antioxidant support. Cheers to powering your brilliance through superfoods!