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5 foods that fuel your workout

quinoa saladConsider the pitfalls of the urban athlete’s diet: Carbo-loading and sports drinks can cause a sugar spike and crash. Protein bars are often highly processed, and can be hard to digest, making you feel sluggish.

And simply dining out at great restaurants can make you salt-and-buttered to the nth.

The opposite route? Nutrient-dense foods, which make you feel and perform better.

Fuel your workout with these five superfoods, all of which provide the nutritional fortitude you and your fitness regimen may have been missing.

Quinoa. It’s a supergrain and a complete protein. Packed with fiber, iron, and calcium, necessary for proper muscle contraction and even potassium and magnesium for hydration, quinoa is a high-quality complex carbohydrate (yes, the good kind of carb) that you want on your plate. Even at breakfast.

Kale. Too bad Popeye didn’t know about this dark leafy supergreen. Kale is now everywhere—including smoothies, salads, juice—and doctors, dermatologists, and nutritionists are raving about its benefits. It’s packed with fiber, anti-aging antioxidants, even protein, and its high levels of chlorophyll can oxygenate the blood, giving you more staying power in your workout.

Salmon. Known for its essential omega-3s, which decrease inflammation and body fat (and help with great skin), salmon is also a high-quality protein, rich in energy-boosting B vitamins, magnesium—and potassium. Wild Alaskan sockeye gets two thumbs up.

Chia Seeds. They’ve recently grabbed the spotlight, and it’s not without good cause. Chia seeds contain a unique combination of protein, omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals. The soluble fiber in chia seeds keeps you full, stabilizes blood sugar, and provides sustained energy during intense workouts. (They’re also a perfect vegan alternative to fish oil supplements.)

Nuts. For an energy-boosting snack, use almonds, walnuts, pecans, or cashews in a smoothie; nut butter with fruit or vegetables; or homemade trailmix. Loaded with healthy fats, fiber, protein, and vitamins, they’re an easy, cost-effective upgrade to the processed, high-sugar protein bar. —Jennifer Kass

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  1. October 20th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    [...] • Foods to fuel your workout. (Well + Good) [...]

  2. October 20th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    [...] • Foods to fuel your workout. (Well + Good) [...]

  3. October 20th, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    delish…all of those ideas!

  4. October 21st, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    [...] bars might be convenient, but here’s some healthier options that can help to fuel your [...]

  5. October 27th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    [...] 5 foods that fuel your workout [...]

  6. November 1st, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    [...] Originally published in Well+Good. [...]

  7. December 13th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    [...] practical advice on holiday entertaining.You already know, of course, that we love us some nutrient-packed kale. And hazelnuts, it turns out, are a great source of quercetin, a trendy phytochemical that is known [...]

  8. January 20th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    [...] is surprisingly confusing (apparently, donuts don’t cut it), so Well+Good NYC has some great workout foods to get your energy up without ruining your [...]

  9. January 21st, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    [...] is surprisingly confusing (apparently, donuts don’t cut it), so Well+Good NYC has some workout-friendly meal options to get your energy up without ruining your diet. More [...]

  10. January 22nd, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    My favorite work out fuel is egg whites & butternut squash! :)

  11. February 14th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    [...] that’s also really good for you.This week, we’re pairing the protein-packed goodness of quinoa with butternut squash, an in-season vegetable that is bursting with vitamins and minerals. Bon [...]

  12. March 6th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    [...] make it on Sunday, you can tote it to work and eat it throughout the week.Use protein-rich quinoa for an energy boost, and the low-calorie radishes will provide your body with vitamins and minerals.(Photo Credit: [...]

  13. March 1st, 2013 at 6:17 am

    [...] actor roles. Gojis are loaded with vitamin C and beta carotene. And omega-3-loaded chia seeds are well-known for their protein, about 4 grams per [...]

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