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Athletes know the importance of a good diet. A balanced diet is essential in maintaining optimal energy levels, and good performance. It also helps boost the immune system and fights stress.
Superfoods for athletes
There are certain foods you should always have on hand if you work out on a regular basis. These foods are especially rich in nutrients and I think I eat most of these almost every day- avocado, nuts, eggs, cocoa, and chicory fiber, to name a few.
The Athletic Benefits of Chicory Root Fiber
Chicory fiber is a plant that belongs to the dandelion family and the root of the plant is where we find most of its nutritional benefits. According to studies, 68% of the root is mainly composed of insulin, which works as a prebiotic which promotes the growth of good intestinal bacteria. In addition:
- It contains minerals such as magnesium, which helps the heart function and eases muscle relaxation. It is an anti-inflammatory so it’s perfect for those who suffer from joint pain after working out.
- Contains calcium which is great for bone health.
- Increases performance thanks to a high dose of vitamin B1 which is crucial in converting carbohydrates into energy and helps with muscle contractions and fatigue after long workout sessions.
- Chicory is also a good source of potassium with is essential because it keeps your muscles from getting cramps or feeling weak.
- Contains high levels of phosphorus, another important mineral for athletes since it plays a role in how the body converts carbohydrates and fats into energy and is necessary for the growth of protein and to repair cells and tissue.
- Rich in antioxidants, which slow the aging of cells and provides us with energy. This study even shows that eating chicory root and prevent liver damage.
How do you eat chicory root?
Most often chicory root is made in an infusion as an additive or supplement. A chicory drink is a kind of substitute for coffee, it’s rich and comforting. However, today, I want to tell you my favorite way to add chicory root into my diet- and that’s chocolate.
Chocolate and chicory root combined is a definite treat for athletes. I always carry around a pack of Cacao & Nuts or a few pieces of Ginger Chocolicius (my personal favorite during the winter). I eat them after running, swimming, or cycling and besides being good for my body, I can’t think of a tastier snack!