Quinoa: Nutrition for the Warrior in You | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Quinoa: Nutrition for the Warrior in You

October 9, 2011 | Elaine Marie Conrad

Must See Nutrition Videos

Looking for a food that provides a little extra boost in the fourth quarter? Look no further than the ancient Incas for inspiration.

To the Incas, a South American civilization that thrived from the 13th to the 16th Century, quinoa was such an important crop that it was held sacred. The Incas called it the "mother grain," and they grew it for its edible seeds, which provided warriors with stamina and quick recovery.

The Incas knew that quinoa gave them energy, but they didn't know why. Today, we understand that quinoa provides all the essential nutrients for muscle recovery. One cup of quinoa delivers minerals, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, all nine essential amino acids and nine grams of protein, making it one of the most complete foods in nature.

One essential amino acid in quinoa that is particularly relevant for athletes is lysine. For off-season athletes working on strength, lysine can help repair and grow muscle tissue faster.

Another quinoa nutrient of great value to athletes is iron. Iron helps the body produce energy and helps the blood deliver oxygen to muscles. It is especially critical for female and endurance athletes. Many female athletes are iron-deficient, which can hinder their athletic performance. For endurance runners, the iron in quinoa can help prevent fading in those last few miles.

Good news for athletes who want to incorporate more quinoa in their diets: the super grain can be included in any meal. For breakfast, sprinkle quinoa on your cereal or cook it with maple syrup and nuts. For lunch, put it in your salad. Have quinoa with your dinner by stuffing it in vegetables or creating a veggie burger.

Add the Incas' mother grain to your diet and unleash the warrior within.

Try quinoa for yourself and post your results to our Facebook wall or tweet us at @STACKMedia.

Topics: PROTEIN | NEWS
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Under Armour Introduces the Curry One

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

The Case for Red Meat

Study Ranks Paleo As Second-Worst Diet

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

adidas Set to Drop the D Lillard 1

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

NHL All-Stars Drop In For a Game of Sledge Hockey

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

Nike Unveils 2015 Pro Bowl Uniforms

Cardale Jones Returns to Ohio State University

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

The Boston Cannons'

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

adidas Unveils New Ultra Boost Running Shoe

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food