Monday, 28 January 2013

4 Fruits that Enhance Athletic Performance

Fruit isn’t something that you regularly see as a performance enhancing food, but the content of some fruits can be beneficial in aiding your gym performance. Whether you are trying to add bulk, improve your cardiovascular fitness or enhance your power and strength, fruit has the vitamins and minerals, as well as the sugars that you need to get the best gains from your routine. But that’s not all fruit, and just like the fruits we looked at in the immune support blog, there are better fruits to improve athletic performance. We will look at some of those today…

Athletic performance is obviously a broad topic to discuss in relation to food, as the body requires many nutrients for performance. That said, it can be useful to know what fruits can offer you the support that your macronutrients are supplying for your diet.

1. Passion Fruit

Passionate about performance?
Passion fruit might sound more like something you take on a date picnic, but actually, it has an interesting mix of nutrients that support a workout. Firstly passion fruit contains good levels of carbohydrate, with 23g per 100g, and 11g of that being sugar. That's not all bad, as it is essential that you have small amounts of sugar for your workout. In addition to its sugar benefits, passion fruit also has 8% of your RDA of iron, essential for blood formation and the creation of ATP, your body's energy chemical compound. It also packs in 7% of your RDA of magnesium, which is essential for muscle contraction and 9% of your daily potassium, which is important for fluid balance.

2. Blackcurrants

More than just juice...
Blackcurrants are usually found in fruit juice form, as they pack in plenty of flavour, and are regularly used in cordials. They can aid your workout with there vitamin and mineral balance, and they also support your immune system. They are stuffed full of vitamin C and a number of other antioxidants in high numbers so they help with your health. That aside, they also pack a punch in the gym. 8% of your daily iron, and 9% of your daily potassium makes them a very useful support, especially in a smoothie, in which you can add other fruits to improve the balance of nutrients. As an added bonus you also get 5% of your RDA calcium, which will help you to make more forceful muscle contractions.

3. Guava

Guava is a class gym hero
Guava is a relatively new fruit to the British supermarket, and if you're not sure what it is, you are not alone. It is a fruit found in tropical countries, and looks like a small watermelon. It contains good levels of sugar, at 8g per 100g of fruit. This means it isn't too heavy for those looking to burn calories in the gym. It also has 11% of your copper and 11% of your potassium, so it boosts your muscles and energy levels. It also boasts 302% of your RDA of vitamin C, which helps the absorption of iron, without oxidising it, so its good for your health and your creation of red blood cells.

4. Raisins

The superfood you're missing!
Now, raisins aren't usually considered to be a real fruit, because of the process of making the, and the way they come in a box, but the raisin is a superhero of a fruit. First of all, a 100g serving gives you 59g of sugar. That makes these little fruits like natural jelly beans, just packed with energy. But that isn't all the humble raisin has for you. It contains 21% of your RDA of potassium, so your fluid balance and muscle contractions will be prepared for your session. Raisins also have 10% of your RDA of phosphorus, which regulates calcium (important for muscle contraction) and helps to make ATP, which in combination with the 10% RDA of your iron means you'll be energy rich! Throw in 15% of your RDA of copper, which aids the iron in the creation of haemoglobin, and you'll find the raisin boosts your performance.


There you have it, four fruits which really can help you push yourself harder in the gym. Eaten properly as part of a balanced diet, and ensuring you get the right level of recovery (see our blog about post exercise recovery here) you can use these fruits to aid your performance.

For 4 fruits that boost your immune system, click here. Find out about 4 weight loss fruits here.

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