If you want to be in optimum shape to participate in the activities you love, you must learn about the 5 foods that give you energy to play sports. By incorporating these foods into your daily diet, you provide fuel for your body to achieve its maximum potential. Try adding these foods to your daily diet for both proper nutrition and high energy levels.
- Complex carbohydrates. These foods give you energy to play sports by providing glycogen, the main fuel source for the body. By choosing complex carbs instead of sugary simple carbs, your body will sustain its energy levels for several hours.
- Protein. Foods containing protein not only provide energy, but help the body to build and repair muscles and tissues. While athletes participating in intense training regimens may need larger amounts of protein, most people can obtain adequate amounts simply by eating a variety of protein-rich foods such as lean red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy products and legumes eaten with whole grains.
- Water. A dehydrated body cannot operate properly and will experience extreme lows in energy. Keep well hydrated by drinking 6 to 8 cups of water each day. Exercise will further increase your body's need for water in addition to the often quoted 6 to 8 cups a day. However, the body also obtains water from many foods such as fruits, vegetables and other drinks.
- Fruit. Fruit provides a quick source of energy, much like simple carbohydrates, but without the high sugar content and calorie levels of such foods. When exercising for extended periods of time, usually at least an hour or more, fruit should be included as a main source of energy to play sports.
- Specialized sports supplements. Some people looking for foods that give you energy to play sports turn to supplements, herbs, powders and protein bars. These are not usually necessary for the general public, though you may experience a boost in energy levels. If you choose to use such items, remember that this should be in addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet, not a quick fix for poor eating habits. Such foods may indeed be useful for those who play sports for long periods of time, giving them a boost of energy mid-session.