The food we eat is the fuel we burn is an adage we already know all too well. So let’s talk about which foods you should eat to maximize your vitamin intake and improve your antioxidant absorption and peak metabolic function for peak performance in this little guide of sorts.
Regardless of whether you believe vitamin supplements are superfluous to a good diet or otherwise, the indisputable fact remains that peak cycling performance relies on a constant supply of vitamins and minerals.
And the indisputable fact is that the best way to get your vitamins and minerals is from the food you eat everyday. Simples, right? Not so fast.
Just as much as no two bikes are ever created equal, the same is true for food. Not every food is created the same when it comes to vitamins and minerals – even the foods we consider as “healthy”. Actually, you may be surprised just how “healthy” your diet really is.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered – we’ve come up with a list of food groups that are guaranteed to maximize your performance. We’re going to be classifying the foods that are best for your nourishment based on their main classes. But before anything else, let’s take a look at why vitamins are important in the first place.
Water-Soluble and Fat-Soluble
Vitamins are further divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The latter vitamins (such as A, D, E, and K) are, as the name implies, soluble in fat, and are deposited into our livers in excessive amounts, and are vitamins that perform specific functions; their absence produces symptoms of vitamin deficiency.
The latter, on the other hand (such as vitamins C, the vitamin B family, niacin, and folate) are soluble in water, do not settle in our livers, and are easily disposed of via our urinary tracts. They play an important role in our metabolic processes.
The Top Tier: Proteins
The main thing you want are proteins that are packed with high amounts of protein at a minimum of fat. Chicken and turkey breast, rabbit, veal, and fish are all excellent sources of this protein. The absolute best part is that if you’re a pescetarian, you already have a rich, varied selection of fish and seafood to choose from (ALL OF THEM!). Lean cuts of lamb, and not the ones laden with that ambrosial fat we all love lamb for is excellent too. Additional sources include egg whites, feta cheese, and ricotta cheese.
The Top Tier: Carbohydrates
We know the drill – get your complex carbohydrates. Vegetables are a prime source of this, apart from being sources of vitamins as well. If you prefer cooked vegetables, go for veg like asparagus, cabbage, or any similar green leafy vegetable as well as broccoli, artichokes and chickpeas (an excellent protein source too). For the raw end of the spectrum, you may choose to include onions, beans, zucchini, turnips (or any similar tuber), spinach, aubergines, bell peppers, lentils, and mushrooms (a real treat for me personally). Fruit like apricots, pineapples, watermelons, citrus fruits, cherries, strawberries, apples and pears are also fantastic sources of carbohydrates, while cereals such as muesli, oatmeal (avoid the sweet, quick-cook ones), rice, and whole wheat pasta should be staples.
The Top Tier: Fats and Lipids
Get your lipids from the one of the best sources available to all performance athletes: nuts. Cashews, peanuts, almonds, avocados, and walnuts are all rich, fantastic sources of protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids. If you have to use oil for cooking, go for extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil for frying.
Getting your nutrition from these sources guarantee that you get the most out of your body in terms of performance.
Don’t take our word for it – gradually introduce them to your diet and see the difference in time.