Four Essential Foods All Athletes Should Be Eating

All athletes should be ingesting the proper foods for their health, demanding training routines, and for strengthening their hard-working muscle tissue. As an athlete, you should be ingesting foods that are going to help you in all aspects of your daily life to insure that you obtain all the benefits you need for a healthier body.

There are four essential foods that all athletes should be eating:

Chicken Breast: Chicken breast is one of the best foods you can eat as an athlete because it is one of the leanest parts of the bird. Just 4 ounces of chicken breast has less than 200 calories, is loaded with over 20 grams of high quality protein, and is packed with B vitamins and other beneficial vitamins and minerals for an athlete's active and demanding routines. Bake your chicken breast instead of frying it, and also remember to remove the skin (since skin contains bad fats).

Brown Rice: All athletes need a carbohydrate to replenish their body's natural supply of glycogen (which is needed for energy). Brown rice is a wonderful source of carbohydrates. It supplies important trace minerals, such as selenium and magnesium, and is also a hearty source of B vitamins and iron.

Soy Milk: Although this product of soy isn't a food, it is a beverage that should be a main source of nutrients in every athlete's daily diet. For those that are lactose intolerant, soy milk is an alternative to ingesting whey protein supplements or drinking cow's milk. It is also a source of vegetable proteins, isoflavones and zinc.

Apples: Apples are a major source of vitamins C, vitamin A and polyphenols. This fruit is also a good source of fiber and contains under 80 calories per serving. The most nutritious part of the apple is the skin, so when you eat your apples, eat the apple's skin for maximum vitamin and antioxidant benefits.

If you are an athlete, you should know that the right foods will help you to accomplish your goals. Eating chicken breast, brown rice, apples, and incorporating soy milk into your daily diet will help you achieve and maintain a healthier and stronger body.

Heather M. Johnson-Emerson is an amateur NPC bikini competitor and is also an aerobics instructor. For more articles on health and fitness, visit Heather M. Johnson-Emerson's contributor page.

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Updated Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012