10 Power Foods For Strength and Stamina
Physical strength is much more than being able to run long distances or lift heavy weights in a gym. Being physically fit isn’t only about being able to carry out our daily activities with ease and vigour. Physical strength, according to sports nutrition is considered to be a cumulative effect of components such as cardio respiratory endurance, muscular strength, body composition, balance, agility, and flexibility or in other words, a state of general health and wellbeing.
We often use the terms strength, endurance, and stamina interchangeably during fitness programs, but each of these attributes are distinct concepts that define and measure our physical strength. While muscular strength refers to the maximum amount of force our muscles can exert during a short period of physical activity (achieved through resistance training) muscular endurance or stamina is related to our ability to perform repeated muscular activities for an extended duration (marathon, cycling or long cardio sessions).
The key to becoming stronger, fitter and healthier is to adapt exercise regimes according to your specific fitness goals and to adopt a sound nutrition plan that fuels the body optimally, builds and repairs muscles and also improves workout performance.
The Role Of Diet
Whether the aim is to build six packs, improve energy levels, or train better, the power of nutrition cannot be trivialized. Both training and nutrition work synergistically to ensure that tat loss is achieved and muscular strength is enhanced. The rule is simple. Fuel the body with the right kind and amount of foods at regular intervals.
Include high quality lean protein sources such as whey, egg, meat, soy and milk throughout the day, with extra doses during breakfast and after training sessions to build muscle mass. Add a consistent supply of slow acting good carbs to avoid sudden spikes in glucose levels and consume adequate amounts of essential fatty acids to boost stamina and speed up post workout recovery.
Foods For Fitness
Instead of relying on expensive supplements, try to get the majority of strength building nutrients from these power foods that provide a well rounded package of proteins, carbs, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Loaded with nine essential amino acids, vitamin D and B 12, iron and choline, eggs are easily the number one power food. If you are watching your cholesterol intake, eat only egg whites. otherwise enjoy whole eggs as long as you are not overdoing it. Team boiled, poached or scrambled eggs with whole wheat breads or oatmeal and sautéed carrots and peas as sides to add more power to the dish.
Opt for energy dense bananas to fight fatigue and replenish potassium stores that the body needs but loses during intense physical activities.
Besides antioxidants, green tea contains an amino acid called L theanine that keeps the mind focused and provides protection against muscle damage.
The starchy nutrient dense goodness of sweet potatoes makes them excellent post workout snack options. The complex carbs spruce up energy levels. vitamin A. C and iron boost immunity and oxygen carrying capacity of blood. potassium helps maintain electrolyte balance and magnesium relaxes muscular contractions.
High in folic aad, calcium, iron and vitamin K, green veggies such as broccoli and spinach are the new superheroes for better muscle power and stronger bones.
A mere 100 grams of low fat cottage cheese or paneer packs a whopping 12 grams of protein, only 103 calories and less than two grams of fat. Pair them with crackers, add to salads and wraps or simply enjoy them plain with salt and pepper.
Consume fresh saltwater fish like salmon, mackerel. pomfret and tuna for their excellent protein profile and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce muscle soreness and pain.
Antioxidants are crucial to tight oxidative stress caused by tree radicals released during aerobic and strength building exercises. Just a handful of berries can arm our body with vitamins (A and C), minerals such as manganese and copper and a range of phytochemicals help keep us alert and energized and also ward off muscle damage, heart diseases and cancer.
Quinoa is a power packed protein and carbohydrate combo that replenishes glycogen stores and also builds muscle power and stamina.
Source of calories, proteins, mono unsaturated fats, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and fibre, nuts are a great choice for building strength and endurance. Prepare a homemade mix with almonds, walnuts, peanuts, raisins and dates and grab a handful in between meals or an hour before workouts to render that extra edge to your fitness routine.