Published on December 14th, 2022.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, build muscle, boost stamina or increase endurance—whatever your fitness goal might be—what you put on your plate is as important as what you do in the gym.
Besides providing your body the fuel to sustain energy and enhance workout performance, the food you eat also significantly impacts your ability to recover after a sweat session.
That being said, it’s essential to understand that your meals don’t need to be elaborate or complicated in order to qualify as ""nutritious"". Something as simple as oatmeal and bananas for breakfast or Greek yogurt with blueberries for an afternoon snack would do the trick without taking a chunk of time out of a busy day.
Fitness experts at Breaking Muscle highlight the five foods you should eat more often to boost your workout results naturally:
Not only does it provide complex carbohydrates and protein to aid your workout progress, but it's also chock full of fiber so you will feel full for longer. Plus, it's easy to make and goes well with a variety of foods like protein-packed nut butters, yogurt, nuts, seeds and berries that are loaded with inflammation-fighting antioxidants that can help your body heal after a strenuous workout session.
#2 Sweet Potatoes
Another great source of complex carbs is sweet potato. It's also high in fiber and contains vital micronutrients like vitamin A, potassium and riboflavin—all of which aid the muscle-building process. From veggies like bell pepper, kale and eggplant to chicken, salmon and beans—there are plenty of wholesome options that accompany sweet potatoes perfectly.
High in protein, eggs are great for building muscle. They can also help with weight loss by making you feel fuller thanks to protein and monounsaturated fats. Poached or boiled eggs are the healthiest ways to consume eggs for muscle gain or weight loss as they can retain most of their nutrients and don’t require adding more calories from extras such as oil. You can pair your eggs with smashed avocado, sauteed greens or whole-grain bread for an added protein and fiber boost.
#4 Brown Rice
Loaded with fiber, protein, complex carbs and antioxidants, brown rice is an excellent option to add to your diet. The complex carbs will provide long-term energy during workouts while heart-healthy fiber will keep your blood sugar in check and make you feel satiated for longer. Serve with kidney or black beans, chicken, salmon, chickpeas or goat cheese for an increased intake of protein, healthy fats and vitamins.
#5 Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a rich source of protein, calcium and riboflavin. In addition, it has a lower calorie and sugar content. Moreover, yogurt contains probiotics that contribute to a healthy gut biome—thus improving your immune and digestive health. Toss in a handful of berries, toasted nuts or seeds in it for an even more nutritious, filling and flavorful snack.
Additionally, other whole foods like bananas, blueberries, almonds, beetroot and fatty fish are also excellent choices to incorporate into your diet for maximizing your workout results.