Our Top 10 "Best Foods" List

Our Top 10 "Best Foods" List

Our list needs no introduction.  Let's get to it. 


It looks like a grain and cooks like a grain, but it's in the spinach family and has 8 grams of protein per cup. It's one of few foods to contain all nine essential amino acids that are needed to build lean muscle and to recover from workouts.

Replace your oatmeal with Quoinoa in the morning, or use it in place of rice at dinner.


Bluer, purpler, and redder are better. Or better said, the darker the berry, the better the nutrients. They are the best sources of Vitamins A, C, and E, and are what's needed to protect against oxidative stress and the free radicals that form during strenuous activity. Lots and lots of antioxidents help preserve muscle strength as you age.


Pink, oily, and loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. Like mackerel and trout, Salmon is an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation that can hamper athletic performance and contribute to chronic conditions like heart disease.

Wild salmon generally contains fewer cancer-causing chemical contaminants than farmed, and is generally more expensive and difficult to find. Use canned wild salmon for salmon burgers, or in salads and with pasta dishes. Eight ounces a week is enough to benefit from Salmon's anti-inflammatory benefits. Pass on the pills, which are still controversial, and stick with the fish. 


Plant-based sources of protein are a must for vegetarians; especially vegetarian athletes. One cup of black beans, for example, has 15 grams of protein and enough fiber to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Soybeans (in the form of tofu as well), lentils, peas, and all variety of bean: black, cannellini, kidney, garbanzo, you name it. Add to salads, make a three-bean chili, even hummus is a tried-and-true way to keep up your protein intake. 


Protein for muscle, carbohydrates for fuel. We can burn fat and protein for fuel as well, but they first have to be converted into carbs, which creates more work for the body.  Whole-grain carbs have more fiber and typically less added sugar than refined white flours. But the night before a competition, it's best to skip the high fiber and go for the pasta. Fiber takes longer to pass through your system, which can mean gastrointestinal drama when you least need it. 


A great source of easy-to-digest sugar, natural electrolytes, and only 100 calories.  Not as convenient as a bar or gel, but banana's are a good option and less-processed alternative that basically does the same thing. Also a great recovery food, one banana has 422 mg of potassium, which helps regulate fluids and prevent muscle cramps. Potassium is sweated out during exertional activity, so it’s important to replenish afterwards.


All vegetables are good for providing the vitamins and minerals your body needs for maximum performance. But it's our gassy friends broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and kale that have higher concentrations of antioxidants, fiber, and other important nutrients. Like berries, the darker the green, the better. Cauliflower, however, is the only exception to the color rule. 



A natural combination of protein and good-for-you fats, nuts should be a staple in every athlete's diet. They’re easy to digest, and can help balance blood sugar when eaten with carbs. The best example is a bagel with peanut butter. Eaten alone, the bagel would turn to sugar right away. When peanut butter is added, the protein and fat can help sustain the carbs over a longer period of time.


It's often assumed that massive amounts of protein are needed after a workout. What's best for recovery, however, are simple carbs with a little bit of protein—approximately a four or five to one ratio. A glass of low-fat chocolate milk can provide the same benefits as a recovery beverage. An added benefit is that the caffeine in chocolate dilates and relaxes blood vessels, helping oxygen-rich blood reach your muscles more quickly. 


Tart cherry juice has been shown to help prevent inflammation and reduce muscle soreness.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.