HomeChampion's TrainingAthletes Diet PlanTop 10 Highly Nutritious Food for a Sportsperson

Top 10 Highly Nutritious Food for a Sportsperson

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To perform at any level, an athlete needs energy: energy to play, to think, to recover, and to sleep. The human body consumes energy. The food chain helps replenish this lost energy. The first question every athlete asks when they come for counseling is ‘Which is the best food for me?’ Here are the top 10 highly nutritious food for a sportsperson:

List of top 10 nutritious food for a sportsperson

S.NItemsNutrients
1Kidney BeansVitamins and minerals, such as molybdenum, folate, iron, copper, manganese, potassium, and vitamin K1
2ChickpeaRich in fiber and protein
3DateVitamins and minerals including calcium, vitamin K, and magnesium are all needed for healthy bones.
4Sweet PotatoRich source of fiber as well as containing an array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, and they’re a good source of most of our B vitamins and vitamin C.
5CarrotFull of vitamins, minerals, highly rich in Vit. A
6BananaBananas are highly rich in potassium. It can instantly fuel the body.
7Eggsrich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat than the whites
8TomatoTomatoes contain all three high-powered antioxidants: beta-carotene (which has vitamin A activity in the body), vitamin E, and vitamin C.
9Beet RootLow in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fiber, folate, and vitamin C
10GuavaRich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber

Nutritious food for athletes: Kidney Beans

Kidney Pea KreedOn Best Nutritious Food
Best Nutritious Food : Kidney Pea

Rajma is the king of beans. Combining rajma and rice gives a complete amino acid profile to an athlete. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and kidney beans help in the synthesis of muscles. Many players have erratic sugar levels which lower concentration. Kidney beans help moderate sugar levels with their fiber and amylase inhibitors. Cane beans are safe and an excellent option for traveling athletes who need a quick, safe and healthy protein snack. Consume best at breakfast or post-workout. To avoid gas make sure the beans are well boiled in a pressure cooker for at least 15 minutes.

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Kidney Beans nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Water67%
Protein8.7 g
Carbs22.8 g
Sugar0.3 g
Fiber6.4 g
Fat0.5 g
Calories127

Nutritious food for athletes: Chickpea

Chickpea KreedOn Best Nutritious Food
Best Nutritious Food : Chickpeas
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Chana, both black and white contains about 19% protein. With a very high Folic acid content chickpeas have the ability to help athletes produce faster red blood cells. Most athletes with their high-intensity training damage their blood and DNA.  Eating chickpeas every day helps in fast healing and recovery.  In India, the famous chana masala is one dish no athlete should turn down.

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Chickpea nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100 g
Protein14 g
Fat4 g
Carbohydrates44 g, including 7 g of sugar
Fiber12 g

Nutritious food for athletes: Date

Dates KreedOn
Best Nutritious Food : Dates

Ancient soldiers marched into battle with dates or ‘Khajoor’.  Easy to carry and densely packed with iron, calcium, potassium, and other minerals, this tiny fruit means business. The best time to consume 8-10 dates is during long hours of training. Athletes do get hungry and need to munch on high-energy reserve food. When athletes have low hemoglobin or iron levels which cause fatigue they need to switch to a high date snacking diet.

Date nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Copper18%
Protein2 g
Carbs75 g
Magnesium14%
Fiber7 g
Potassium20%
Calories277
Manganese15%

Nutritious food for athletes: Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato KreedOn
Best Nutritious Food : Sweet Potato
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While normal potatoes post-training really help recharge muscle glycogen, sweet potato is like Usain Bolt for recovery.  Quick to recharge your reserves, sweet potato is often missed out due to bland taste.  With one of the highest vitamin A servings,  athletes shouldn’t think twice about adding it to their meal. Vitamin A helps in better lung function, boosting lung capacity as well as jump-starting the athlete’s immune system. My favorite is using sweet potato as a soup base or mashing it into your parathas.

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Sweet Potato nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Sodium55 mg
Protein1.6 g
Carbs20 g
Magnesium6%
Vitamin C4%
Potassium337 mg
Calories86
Iron3%

Nutritious food for athletes: Carrot

Carrot
Best Nutritious Food : Carrot

Very rarely do I see color on an athlete’s plate.  The orange of carrots contains beta-carotene that helps in recovery. Vitamin K is an important agent that helps in the clotting of blood. Athletes get injured and Vitamin K helps in quick recovery. Cooked carrots are the best for the absorption of their nutrients. For dessert, I advise carrot halwa as an acceptable cheat meal for an athlete.  The fiber in carrots helps prevent constipation.

Carrot nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Fiber2 g
Protein.5 g
Carbs6 g
Sugar3 g
Fat.2 g
Vitamin A872
Calories25
Potassium174

Nutritious food for athletes: Banana

Banana KreedOn
Best Nutritious Food : Banana

This fruit needs no introduction. Small or large, it’s available around the year and is light on an athlete’s pocket. Besides, it is extremely handy to carry and comes in its own wrapper. Banana can be eaten before, during, and after training. Research has shown that dopamine in bananas is able to calm an athlete.  When training hard, an athlete’s blood pressure peaks, which does not sometimes allow an athlete to think clearly. Banana helps keep your brain cool and powers your muscles.

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Banana nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Water75%
Protein1.1 g
Carbs23 g
Sugar12 g
Fat.3 g
Fiber2.6 g
Calories89
Potassium358 mg

Nutritious food for athletes: Eggs

Eggs KreedOn
Best Nutritious Food : Eggs

Packed with 6 grams of protein within a fragile shell, the egg is like an atomic bomb in the field of nutrition. Athletes should try to add 3-6 eggs a day to their diet.  The egg has a Vitamin B complex along with a powerful mineral call Selenium, which is a key antioxidant. Athletes suffer severe microscopic trauma to their muscles on a daily basis. The combination of good quality protein and vitamins helps enhance the recovery process.  Eggs should always be consumed cooked. Raw eggs do not allow digestion of the Vitamin B complex, and as such makes the protein synthesis in the body drop.

Egg nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Sodium142 mg
Protein12.6
Carbs.7 g
Sugar.4 g
Fat9.5 g
Iron1.75 g
Calcium56 mg
Potassium138 mg

Tomato

Tomato KreedOn Best Nutritious Food
Best Nutritious Food : Tomato

The red in tomatoes comes from lycopene. Research has shown that lycopene boosts lung function. So eating more of this fruit, commonly known as vegetables, will enhance your endurance levels in training. I suggest knocking out the seeds. Cooked tomatoes have a higher content of lycopene. And a lot of athletes love me as I advise them to have loads of tomato sauce. Lycopene is also known to aid growth hormone and so tomato juice for younger athletes is No.1 on my prescription list of beverages.

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Tomato nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Water95%
Protein.9 g
Carbs3.6 g
Fiber1.3 g
Fat.5 g
Sugar3.6 g
Vitamin C15 mg

Beetroot

Beetroot KreedOn Best Nutritious Food
Best Nutritious Food : Beetroot

Since the London Olympics, I have always been enamored of this ‘Red Giant’.  I love this vegetable because of its nitrate content and its ability to dilate blood vessels.  For the athlete this means large blood vessels when exercising- it delivers more oxygen, glucose, amino acid, and salts to the muscles whilst removing a greater volume of carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Research has shown that exercise exhaustion decreases and the oxygen saturation in the blood increase by supplementing beetroot in the diet.  For me, eating 2 beetroot plain is mandatory. It can be had as chips, cooked, baked, or as juice. Blend beetroot in lemonade to ease the harsh taste.  My personal favorite is beetroot halwa. The best time to have beetroot is 3 hours prior to practice.

Beetroot nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Water88%
Calories44
Carbs9.6 g
Fiber2.8 g
Fat.2 g
Sugar9.6 g
Protein1.6 g
Protein1.6 g

Guava

Nutritious Food KreedOn
Best Nutritious Food : Guava

Amrut is the king of fruits in my book.  With Vitamin C levels in Supersonic Orbit, every athlete should have this to help in recovery and to boost immunity. When athletes are injured, I ask them to eat 3 guavas a day for fast healing. Also, one of the high protein-containing fruits, guava should be eaten with the seeds as they help in better bowel movement. Athletes consume too many calories via proteins and carbs. However, the system of digestion slows down. Guava ensures clean digestion, not to mention clearer skin for all those brand endorsements.

There are dozens of foods that an athlete requires. These, when added to your meals, enhance the ability of your body. Indian red leafy vegetables are my favorite that does not make it to my top 10 list. This is because, like rice, dal, and curd which are considered a staple, I add green and red leafy vegetables as key ingredients in an athlete’s daily meal. My sincere advice for all warriors in their games: eat with a plan, know your foods and try to get organic as much as possible.

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Guava nutrition

NutrientsAmount in 100g
Calories37
Carbs8
Fiber3 g
Fat1 g
Sugar5 g
Protein1 g
Protein1.6 g

Visit us at QUA Nutrition to change the way you fuel. Change to the way the best athlete’s fuel.


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Ryan Fernando
Ryan Fernando
Ryan Fernando is an award-winning celebrity sports nutrition coach with 2 GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. He is the CEO & Chief Nutritionist at Qua Nutrition Signature Clinics. He is also the author of the book “Eating Secrets of Champions”, a leading sports nutrition book in India.

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