Having enough energy as an athlete is a major key to helping you perform better on the field. As an athlete, your energy needs are higher. Not only do you need to consume enough calories for regular bodily functions, but also so you perform well in your sport. Since athletes are constantly busy, you might not always have time to sit down and consume enough calories to produce the energy you need. Calorie-dense foods may be the answer.
Calorie-dense foods are high in calories but don't take up much space in your stomach. They give you the energy you need without filling you up too much like a meal might. STACK talked to sports dietician Leslie Bonci to find out which calorie-dense foods are great for athletes.
1. Nut Butter
Any type of nut butter is a great option, and you can find it pretty much anywhere. Peanut butter, almond butter and hazelnut butter are all great calorie-dense food sources. Nut butters gives you a lot of calories and even some protein, all while not filling you up.
Almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are all easily portable calorie-dense foods. About a handful of nuts is around 500 calories, which makes it a great source of energy.
Granola can have 4 times the amount of calories of other cereals. A small bowl of a granola mix can deliver around 200 calories. If you add milk, that becomes 800. Granola is easily portable and a great energy source for athletes.
If you want a more dense bread item, a bagel might just be the thing. A bagel is the equivalent of four or five slices of bread, but that much bread might make you too full. You can easily eat one bagel, and for more calories you can add some nut butter.
Not only is cheese delicious, it also has a lot of calories and can be used as a source of protein.
Avocado might be a fruit, but it has a lot of healthy fat. You can use it as a spread or make guacamole to eat with tortilla chips.
Hummus is another dip or spread food that you can add to a snack to get extra calories. It also provides a good source of protein and fat.
8. Olive Oil or Mayo
It's not just about the food products, but also what you add to them. Instead of having plain broccoli, add some olive oil to it and make it into a stir fry. Or instead of having cabbage, add some mayo so you can get the extra fat you need.
To learn more about the calorie-dense foods on this list, watch the video above.