Food is the fuel that helps athletes be able to perform their best. Without it, strength, endurance, and overall performance will be down. If you want to get the most out of your athletic capabilities, your diet should be a top priority in your efforts.

As your body puts out energy through training and exercise, you need to replenish those lost nutrients by choosing the right foods. Here are some of the best foods for athletes to optimize their performance.


Blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are a handful of the delicious berries rich in antioxidants, which we all need to replenish after doing physical activity. Darker berries contain phytochemicals and many other protective elements that prevent oxidative stress occuring in the body during strenuous activities. They also preserve muscle strength when you age, so they are good for the long term.


This oily fish is packed with lean, omega-3 fatty acids, and muscle-building protein, which reduces the inflammation that can happen with continual physical activity. It is also a natural artery cleanser, which helps to prevent heart disease, even for the most active people. Enjoy salmon creatively in salads, pastas, or burgers to get the recommended eight ounce serving each week.

Beans and Legumes

Vegetarians and meat eaters as well can get their fill of plant-based protein by consuming beans and legumes. Black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, … the varieties are endless. You can cook them into a stew or chili or add them to a salad. Unlike meat, beans and legumes don’t contain saturated fat and have fiber, which helps you feel full longer.


Bananas are a low-calorie, great source of natural electrolytes, which need to be replaced after doing physical exercise or attending a sporting event. They are also high in potassium, making them the perfect post-event snack. Eating one banana can help you regulate your fluid intake since you are drinking more water before, after and during physical exertion. It can also protect you from muscle spasms or cramps.