10 Stamina-Building Food that Every Aspiring Athlete Should Include in Their Diet

Stamina-building food is important for any athlete to keep energised and fit during practice and work-out sessions. Many recent sporting events like the Colour Run and Penang Bridge marathons have raised the interest of many of us Malaysians to stay fit, active and healthy. This makes it imperative for us to know the types of food that can help boost our work-out sessions as well as build our stamina if we should choose to join in on these physically demanding events.

So, for those of you who want to start becoming the athlete that you are born to be, do not forget to include the following 10 stamina-building food items. They will be sure to work wonders for you and your work-out sessions. Let’s get to it, shall we?


1. Coconut Oil

Credit: interaksyon.com

Coconut oil is a type of fat that has high amounts of “medium-chained” fats that make it easily digestible compared to other dietary fats. Coconut oil provides a readily available source of energy for your body. This is because it naturally increases your metabolic rate, allowing for more energy to be burned by your body which then boosts athletic performance.

Besides, it also promotes healthy thyroid function and removes pancreatic stress. For maximum results, simply add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to your pre-workout smoothie.


2. Eggs

Eggs, especially if both yolk and white are consumed, can be an excellent food source for micro-nutrients and protein. Eggs are a perfect example of dietary protein that is important in providing our bodies with amino acids which help in building muscles and nourish the body.

Want a good tip? Eat a few soft or hard-boiled eggs with bread or oats within a 45-minute window of working out. This will help to offset the cortisol response and prevent muscle breakdown.


3. Walnuts

If you are not really a fan of fish, walnuts are a great alternative for you to get some heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Good fats are necessary and vital to achieve optimal fitness and health. Furthermore, healthy fats can help with energy production, healing of tissue injuries, sprains and bruises.

Want to include walnuts in your diet? Try adding a handful of walnuts to your home-made trail mix before heading outdoors.


4. Cottage Cheese

Although cottage cheese may look unappetising, it is in fact an excellent source of amino acids that assist in rebuilding muscles and tissues after exercising.

So, all the vegetarians out there, grab a tub of cottage cheese today! Cottage cheese is loaded with nutrients such as calcium, tryptophan, vitamin B12 and selenium that you need to support your active lifestyle. Just enjoy a cup post workout for best results.


5. Raisins

Who does not love to snack on a packet of good ol’ raisins? Raisins are a portable and tasty snack that provides antioxidants which help minimise inflammation. What’s not to like? Besides which, raisins are considered as a healthy carbohydrate option. It will provide you with energy for a longer and harder workout.


6. Apricot

Many people may choose to skip a meal because they think that decision may help them to lose more weight. However, working out in an empty stomach will not increase your metabolism rate as much as you expect. You may just end up fainting and miss out on a good work-out session.

Snack on stamina-building food such as apricots which are are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients. Apricots are a quick-digesting fuel that will boost your energy levels during work-out sessions.


7. Coconut Water

If you’re someone who finds water boring, drink coconut water instead! Coconut water is  a natural source of electrolytes which makes it an ideal beverage to consume before and during exercise. With coconut water, less volume of liquid is needed to provide the beneficial minerals. Therefore, it won’t create the feeling of fullness or bloating that other beverages may cause, interfering with optimal exercise performance.

So, avoid getting store-bought energy drinks and opt for 6-8 ounces of unsweetened coconut water to replenish yourself after a good exercise.


8. Bananas

Bananas are considered stamina-building food due to its high potassium content. Potassium is another source of electrolytes that your body requires when exercising. Bananas are proven to be a great source of energy for athletes. Did you know that they can give you energy spikes equivalent to a carbohydrate rich sports drink?

Besides, bananas are also great for preventing muscle fatigue. Well, who would have thought that, right?


9. Peanut Butter

Next on our list of stamina-building food items is classic peanut butter.  Peanuts are said to contain Omega 3 fatty acids that help in reducing pain, boost heart health and develop your brain. Furthermore, peanut butter is great for building up your stamina due to high calories and the ability to be digested slowly.

So, peanut butter lovers out there, you no longer have to sacrifice your love for the smooth creamy peanut spread now!


10. Red Grapes

If you are one of those rare people whose fruit intake is exclusive to grapes and nothing else, we have good news for you!  Grapes, especially red grapes, have some special nutritional components that make them even more essential to our health. After all, there must be a reason why red grapes have been classified with “superfood” status.

Red grapes contain ‘resveratrol’ which increases your energy levels. Besides, these grapes are excellent as a pre AND post work-out snack because they don’t contain so much sugar. Besides, red grapes also has the ability to give you that instant energy boost that you need to last an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill.


Now, with our list of 10 stamina-building foods, you know exactly what to eat before going for a work out session. You’ll also be energised and ready to build you strength as you work towards that next marathon or cycling event you are joining.

However, if you are still crossing the finishing line later than everyone else even after changing your diet, keep at it! You’ll improve over time if you stick to a good diet and exercise regime. Either that or maybe consider switching sports. Just kidding!

Azrene Jasmine

A true blue Penangite, Azrene Jasmine favourite thing to do is, well, eating. Though currently in a love/hate relationship with the weighing scale, she truly believes that every woman should choose a hunk of juicy steak over a bowl of salad on the first date because steaks are awesome and what man can resist a woman with a healthy appetite?

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