How Thanksgiving Dinner Can Fuel Athletic Performance
While plenty of people talk about the bad effects of Thanksgiving dinner (like weight gain), people don’t talk enough about the possible benefits of a great holiday dinner. As an athlete, you can use traditional Thanksgiving foods and leftovers to fuel your performance during the winter season.
Maximize your performance and your nutrition over the Thanksgiving weekend by enjoying these foods:
Turkey is an obvious healthy choice for athletes. It is a lean protein that helps build muscle and gives your body the building blocks it needs to repair damaged cells, including muscles that may be strained from previous workouts. It can also contain vitamins B3 and B6, which can help your immune system. Eat turkey after a workout to help your body recover.
Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes
Butternut squash is a healthy fall vegetable that gives you a load of high glycemic carbs to burn during your workout. It also contains a high amount of fiber and vitamin A, which help your heart health. It tastes great when roasted and can be eaten before or after a workout.
Sweet potatoes also have a ton of Vitamin A and offer similar carbohydrate and energy benefits. Choose either of these delicious vegetables as a side dish.
Brussel sprouts are a veggie superstar. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat for both energy and performance. They also contain folate and manganese, which help your immune system and convert all those carbs you’ve eaten at dinner into great energy for a game or workout.
When roasting vegetables, like brussel sprouts or butternut squash, use olive oil instead of butter. Olive oil is a healthier fat than butter, offering additional health benefits.
That’s right; you can still enjoy some pumpkin pie. Though you should skip the extra calories in the whipped cream, pumpkin is packed with Vitamin A and fiber. For a dessert, it has a fairly high glycemic index, so you can enjoy extra energy without a huge blood pressure spike and crash later.
At Bon Secours In Motion Sports Performance, our sports nutritionists and registered dietitians can give you personalized guidance on creating a diet to fuel your performance. Whether it is a holiday or a Tuesday, we can give you a nutrition plan that will help you feel great. Contact us today for a personalized nutrition plan.