We all know nutrition is incredibly important for endurance athletes, yet how many of us regularly get our five portions a day of fruit and veg?
To help ensure you do, we’ve put together a handy guide to five ingredients perfect for making a delicious post-workout smoothie.
Recent research found watermelon juice to have excellent potential as a functional drink to relieve sore muscles in athletes. This is due to its high levels of the amino acid L-Citrulluine that has antioxidant properties and boosts nitric oxide.
Ginger has several health benefits that make it an ideal addition to fruit or vegetable-based smoothies. Ginger contains volatile plant oils, known as gingerols that ease pain and inflammation, have antibacterial properties and improve digestion too.
Flaxseed oil is one the best plant sources of the primary Omega-3 fat ALA (alpha linolenic acid). ALA has been shown to lower cholesterol and may help control blood sugar. It also brings a creaminess to smoothies and acts as a functional anti-inflammatory.
This is the perfect leafy green to blend into fruit smoothies. Spinach is rich in vital nutrients such as folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as iron and calcium. Spinach is also packed with the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Ground almonds give smoothies a tasty protein boost and are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium. These minerals are vital when it comes to strong bones, muscle contraction and relaxation, and nerve transmission. (Image: M.Verkerk)
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