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A morning favorite for athletes everywhere is orange juice, and for good reason. It’s filled with immune system-boosting vitamin C and phytonutrients [organic nutrients that promote healthy cells]. Orange juice is great for strength and performance athletes looking to improve their diet first thing in the morning.
According to World’s Healthiest Foods, a single orange contains 116.2 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. One cup of OJ has approximately 137 percent. This powerful dose of vitamin C helps keep the immune system healthy, enabling it to fight off colds and other infections. Just as athletes must take simple precautions before starting a training session—proper form, safe environment, correct weight, etc.—they must also use every means at their disposal to stay physically healthy. One glass of orange juice in the morning is one such powerful means. Keep in mind that an eight-ounce serving has around 120 calories, so be sure to consume it in conjunction with a proper training diet.
According to whfoods.com, “An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and blood clot-inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects.” Research has shown that citrus fruit high in phytonutrients can combat cancer and heart disease. Studies have also shown that when phytonutrients are consumed in fruit form [and not as a supplement pill], they can enhance learning and brain function. The extra brainpower comes in handy when memorizing your team playbook. Non-athletes cannot always appreciate the difficulty of remembering where every player should be on each play, especially when time is ticking away during big games.
Enjoy the wealth of phytonutrients provided by orange juice to help prepare you for those moments in the game when you need to use your head for something other than a battering ram to knock a ball loose [thinking of you, football players].
Athletes aspiring to achieve results in their workouts and greatness on the field need to be at 110 percent. The importance of keeping your body healthy and disease-free cannot be overstated. That’s why STACK recommends adding an orange or a glass of OJ to your breakfast. You'll be ready to go during team workouts and on game day, and your immune system will thank you.