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Raw Material

Boost your energy and endurance with these natural power sources.

By Matthew Kadey

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Whether you're training for a marathon or keeping up a sweet yoga practice, some goals rarely change: finding healthy ways to add energy, increase endurance, and enhance recovery. We looked at the latest research to identify foods that supercharge a workout and taste good, too.

Beets: New studies show that nitrates in the ruby-red root vegetable help your blood vessels dilate, increasing oxygen delivery to working muscles.

Apples: Recent data suggests that quercetin, a potent antioxidant found in apples, can improve exercise endurance.

Sweet Potato: Its high carbohydrate content makes the sweet potato a natural energy provider for long-lasting workouts. Plus, the sweet flesh is rich in immunity-boosting vitamin A.

Quinoa: The popular South American whole grain is chock-full of energizing complex carbohydrates and magnesium, an essential mineral recognized as being a key player in energy metabolism.

Yogurt: With its optimum balance of protein and carbs, yogurt is a stellar fuel for post-workout recovery. Choose plain Greek-style versions for more protein and no processed sugars.

Lentils: This humble legume is packed with iron, which researchers at Cornell University recently found to be essential to athletic performance.


March 2013

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Reader Comments

Jessica

Great article! I never knew about nutritional yeast flakes before having to avoid dairy but they are now one of my favorites. I even tried to recreate my grandmas cheesy white sauce just using nutritional yeast flakes instead, I think it turned out really good : ) Jessica

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