12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

Whey Protein

AFI - 12 foods - whey protein

There’s a reason why bodybuilders, athletes and health-minded folks swear by this stuff. Whey protein (along with other foods) has a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) score of 1. The PCDAAS score of a food is the “gold standard” in protein, measuring a food’s ability to deliver essential amino acids to the body. A score of 1 is the highest a food can achieve. Whey earns its place on this list since it’s incredibly easy for athletes to tote around and consume. Of course, if you’re not interested in plunking down your hard earned cash, you can just drink a glass of milk. Whey (and casein, which also has a PCDAAS of 1) is a derivative of milk. You can mix the protein powder into a cool glass of water for a midafternoon snack, or down a glass of chocolate milk for a potent, inexpensive post-workout recovery beverage.


AFI - 12 foods - tuna

Tuna, another food with a PCDAAS of 1, is only slightly more difficult to prepare than a protein shake, especially if you buy the canned stuff. Mix it with avocado and spread it on whole wheat bread for an easy, healthy lunch, or pull it and toss it with a salad.


AFI - 12 foods - eggs - 2

“Eggs are just such a nutritious food and the perfect food to have for breakfast,” says Erica Giovinazzo MS, RD and a trainer at Brick CrossFit in New York City. “They’re high in protein, good fat and the yolks are rich in carotenoids, a nutrient that can help eye health.”

Coconut Oil

AFI - 12 foods - coconut oil

If you’ve never cooked with it, now’s the time to start. It’s packed with medium chain triglycerides, which can power you through those last grueling minutes of a practice or game.

“Coconut oil is one of the best oils you can have in your diet because it’s great to cook with,” Giovinazzo says. “It has a high smoke point, so it can be cooked at a high heat. Some research has said that coconut oil may also be good for metabolism and energy from fats because it is high in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).”

Sam DeHority  is an Associate Editor at STACK Media. He was previously a member of the editorial staffs at ‘Men’s Fitness’ and ‘Muscle & Fitness,’ where he covered training, nutrition and other related subjects. He has also written for ‘Complex’ and ESPNHS. DeHority graduated from Ithaca College.

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