Super Foods vs Standard Foods: Is one better?
Do you ever get tired of reading yet-another headline about The 10 Best Super Sports Foods, only be instructed to buy exotic fruits, ancient grains, and other unusual items?
Do you really need to spend a lot of money on chia, spelt, and quinoa?
Is anything wrong with old-fashioned peanut butter, broccoli and brown rice?
Doubtful! Powerful nutrients are found in standard foods that are readily available at a reasonable cost. You know, oranges, bananas, berries, oatmeal, almonds, hummus, lowfat yogurt, brown rice, tuna … the basic, wholesome foods recommended by the government’s My Plate. Are those foods exotic? No. But do they still do a great job of offering super nutrition? Yes!
To add to the confusion about exotic sports foods, the sports food industry touts their list of engineered super sports supplements. Ads lead you to believe you really need to buy these products to support your athletic performance. Doubtful.
Your best bet to optimize performance is to optimize your total sports diet. No amount of any supplement will compensate for lousy eating—though a few super sports foods just might enhance performance. These include: caffeine/coffee, beets, tart cherry juice, and an array of colorful fruits (berries, mango, peaches) and veggies (spinach, carrots, peppers).
If your current diet leaves you low on energy and high on junk food, your best bet is to get a one-on-one consult with a sports dietitian who can help you figure out how to eat better. (You likely know what to eat – but you may not know how to manage to fuel your body optimally.) To find a local sports dietitian, use the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org. You will always win with good nutrition.