In this article, you will learn:
- All athletes experience stress (even if they don’t feel mentally stressed) which creates damage and dysbiosis in the body
- The power of polyphenols in combating the mayhem of free radicals
- Veggies to prioritize and products that make eating the rainbow easy
As an athlete, regardless of whether you are aware and affected by mental stress, you definitely have another type of stress—physical stress. The combined effects of hard practices, weight training, conditioning sessions, games/tournaments, travel, and irregular sleep schedules promote inflammation, muscle damage, oxidative stress, and immune dysfunction.
Reducing exercise-induced physiological stress
Fortunately, the body has numerous built-in pathways to offset these effects and promote balance and recovery simply by making good food choices! Here’s one SportFuel® Pro-Tip to get you started: Eat the rainbow.
What we really mean is—eat polyphenols! Polyphenols (aka phytonutrients) are a type of antioxidant. Recent studies have demonstrated the profound effect consuming polyphenols has on reducing exercise-induced physiological stress. In other words, eating a variety of foods naturally rich in these colorful polyphenols has been shown to decrease the number of inflammatory markers seen in athletes post-exercise.
What foods contain a rainbow of polyphenols?
To name a few…
- All types of berries (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry)
- Cherries and grapes
- Yellow and red onions, shallots
- Black and green teas and olives
- 80% or higher dark chocolate
- Fresh ginger
- Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
- Red cabbage and leafy greens
- Herbs and spices
Getting those powerful polyphenols every day can be as easy as adding mixed berries to your breakfast every morning, having an afternoon cup of tea, a mixed greens salad for lunch, and sautéing colorful veggies at dinner. For a super meal, try SportFuel®’s Rainbow Salad recipe.
Athletes are always looking for simple ways to include more rainbow veggies on their plates, so we create fun, easy strategies to prioritize and complete your performance nutrition on Instagram. If you are looking for more ideas, check it out.
We know that eating your vegetables is easier said than done. Sometimes travel, training, or just a generally busy schedule can throw you off your eating routine. That’s why we made SportFuel Greens.
One scoop daily with water, juice, or a smoothie gives you a delicious and energizing boost. SportFuel® Greens are full of phytonutrients (aka polyphenols) as well as natural vitamins, ionic trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and symbiotic intestinal flora, which will set you up for balanced energy, metabolism, digestion, detoxification, revitalization, and longevity support.
With every scoop, you receive major antioxidant support, which helps to eliminate free radicals and reach physiological balance.