The Best Foods to Fuel Your Workouts

The Best Foods to Fuel Your Workouts

Whether you’re hitting the gym, attending a fitness class, or enjoying an outdoor workout, the food you consume can make a significant difference in your performance and recovery. Proper nutrition fuels your body, enhances endurance, and aids in muscle repair.

Here are some of the best, and perhaps unexpected, foods to fuel your workouts and keep you energised.

1. Beets

Beets are packed with nitrates, which improve blood flow and increase oxygen delivery to your muscles. This can enhance stamina and exercise efficiency. Try blending beets into a pre-workout smoothie or roasting them for a delicious salad topping.

2. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. They provide sustained energy and help with hydration due to their ability to absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. Add chia seeds to your morning yogurt or smoothie for a nutrient boost.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Rich in complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes provide long-lasting energy without causing a spike in blood sugar levels. They also contain vitamins A and C, which are important for muscle recovery. Bake or roast sweet potatoes as a side dish or mash them into a post-workout meal.

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs for muscle repair and growth. It’s also high in magnesium, which helps with muscle contraction and relaxation. Use quinoa as a base for salads or a side dish with your favorite protein.

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is rich in protein and probiotics, which aid in muscle repair and digestive health. It’s also a good source of calcium, which is vital for bone health. Enjoy Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a handful of berries as a pre-workout snack.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its active compound, curcumin. This can help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery times. Add turmeric to your soups, stews, or even your morning smoothie for a health boost.

7. Almonds

Almonds are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber, making them an excellent source of sustained energy. They also contain vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to combat exercise-induced oxidative stress. Snack on a handful of almonds or add them to your oatmeal.

8. Berries

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and muscle damage caused by intense workouts. They are also a good source of carbs for energy. Mix berries into your smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal.

9. Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is known for its ability to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery thanks to its high antioxidant content. Drink a small glass of tart cherry juice post-workout or blend it into a recovery smoothie.

10. Spinach

Spinach is rich in iron, which is crucial for oxygen transport in the blood, and nitrates that improve muscle efficiency. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals that support overall health. Add spinach to your salads, smoothies, or omelets.

Practical Steps to Incorporate These Foods

  1. Plan Ahead: Prepare snacks and meals in advance to ensure you have healthy options readily available. Batch cooking quinoa or roasting sweet potatoes can save time and keep you on track.
  2. Mix and Match: Combine these nutrient-dense foods to create balanced meals. For example, a quinoa salad with spinach, almonds, and a side of Greek yogurt makes for a power-packed meal.
  3. Hydrate Wisely: Include hydrating foods like chia seeds and tart cherry juice to maintain optimal hydration levels, especially during intense workouts.
  4. Experiment: Try incorporating these foods in new ways, such as adding beets to your smoothies or using turmeric in your scrambled eggs.

Fuelling your workouts with the right foods can make a substantial difference in your energy levels, performance, and recovery. By incorporating these nutrient-dense options into your diet, you’ll be better equipped to achieve your fitness goals and maintain overall health. Remember, consistency and variety are key to a well-rounded nutritional approach.

Happy fuelling and happy workouts!


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