When we talk about stamina and endurance what are we really talking about? The two words are often used interchangeably. They both mean “staying power.” However, there is a slight difference between the two.
Stamina is the amount of time that a given muscle or group of muscles can perform at maximum capacity. What is endurance then? Endurance is defined as the maximum amount of time that a set of muscles can perform a certain action.
For example, an athlete may concentrate on stamina and run as fast as possible over a given distance. While a marathon runner will probably be more interested in endurance: he runs as far as possible with speed as a lesser concern.
If you want to build stamina and endurance, you need to eat a diet that contributes to that – your body needs fast acting energy sources. You must have heard the saying “You are what you eat”. That is certainly true.
So, let’s see what you should add to your diet to boost your stamina and endurance levels.
1. Sweet Potatoes –
aka ‘shakarkandi’ are excellent sources of energy stores. They help keep body fat levels down. Sweet potatoes are starchy carbohydrates that begin the repair or rebuilding process that your body requires after you’ve had a high-intensity workout. This is why athletes’ prefer eating sweet potatoes post their workout. Bake yourself some crispy sweet potato fries or make a spicy shakarkandi.
2. Bananas –
Bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates, fibre, and potassium. They give you the instant boost of energy you need and helps your stamina levels in the long run. Whip up a banana-apple smoothie and gulp it down 20 minutes before you run out of the door and you’re going to be on top of your game.
3. Peanut Butter –
A favourite pre-workout meal, peanut butter is a rich source of protein that helps sore muscles and tissues heal quickly after a strenuous workout, thus improving your endurance levels. Eat it in combination with some complex carbohydrate foods like banana or apples and your stamina will go up. Slice up a banana and add it to a peanut butter sandwich for a filling and satisfying breakfast.
4. Walnuts and Almonds –
Almonds are super rich in vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are brilliant sources of energy. Eating almonds and walnuts regularly also builds strong bones, improves heart healthand keep you energized all through the day. You remember how your mom always gave you five almonds to eat with your breakfast in the morning when you would leave for school. There was a reason for that – she wanted your stamina levels to be at their best to get you through your day.
5. Chicken –
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein. It supports the growth and development of muscles and aids in weight loss, which are exactly what you need. Chicken increases your stamina levels by keeping you satiated and energized through the day. Eating chicken is also good for your bone health, immunity and reducing stress. All in all, it is a good addition to your daily menu.
6. Beetroot –
Beetroots are rich in potassium, vitamins A and C. These nutrients help to build up stamina and reduce exhaustion. A glass of beetroot juice before your workout will build endurance levels, letting you exercise for a longer period.
7. Eggs –
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Although people are a little apprehensive about consuming eggs because they are high in cholesterol, they are good wholesome food that increases stamina. After a long run, boiled eggs make for yummy and an extremely healthy breakfast. Obviously, you need to eat it in moderation or limit your consumption to egg whites.
8. Red Peppers –
Vitamin C is important to many functions of the body including proper blood flow and healthy bone formation. Red peppers are packed with the goodness of Vitamin C and contain powerful antioxidants. They also contain anti-inflammatories that reduce pain when your muscles are sore after a strenuous workout. Eating them raw by adding them to your salad is the best way to preserve the nutrients of bell peppers and get your dose of Vitamin C too.
9. Pomegranate –
After a workout, if your muscles feel sore, then a glass of pomegranate juice is what you need to reduce the inflammation and soreness. The high content of polyphenols in pomegranate boosts your stamina and endurance levels while you sweat it out at a gym, giving you staying power.
10. Oats –
Oats are complex carbohydrates packed with goodness and provide continuous energy for hours. It also regulates blood-sugar levels and helps the body build endurance levels after a great workout. A bowl of oats in the morning will keep you going strong through your day.
Armed with the knowledge that these foods will help build your endurance and stamina levels, load up your grocery basket with them and watch your fitness levels improve.
By Rahul Aggarwal
who is residing in Faridabad.
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