When you are on the go and need a quick energy boost, it can be tempting to find the closest vending machine. Fortunately for your sake, you have plenty of options for healthy snacks on the road.
Here are some of my favorite, healthy canned foods to keep on hand when your performance needs an extra boost.
Nuts are a great staple for any athlete. Nuts of all kinds help provide satiety and keep you fueled longer, because they are loaded with healthy fats. They can be part of a snack or added to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast for an extra boost of protein and fat. Omega-3 foods also help lower inflammation to reduce soreness and support heart health.
Speaking of inflammation, green tea is an excellent anti-inflammatory drink to help reduce muscle soreness. Green tea also contains some caffeine, which can reduce feelings of fatigue and increase adrenaline release, which may explain its effects on performance.
Keeping cans of tuna or salmon on hand is an easy way to add protein to lunch or dinner when you don't have time to prepare anything. Fish is also a great source of Omega 3's, which enhance the immune system and reduce stress on the body. Canned salmon with bones in provides calcium to aid strength production. Check out this healthy salmon recipe.
The ideal canned food for athletic performance, beans combine protein and carbohydrates to maximize energy and muscle recovery. Even better, beans are a low-glycemic carbohydrate, which provide long-term energy and stabilize blood sugars. (Learn how to eat Mexican for muscle repair.)
While fresh fruit is optimal, keeping canned fruit in your pantry is an easy way to get some healthy sugar as part of a pre-workout snack. Fruit is also dense in vitamins and minerals, which support brain, heart and immune system function.
Pumpkin includes a variety of vitamins and minerals—including vitamin A, K, C, potassium and magnesium—that can boost performance. It is also low in fat and high in fiber, making it a delicious addition to oatmeal or chili.