Kale is a member of the cabbage family and contains high levels of vitamins: A, K, B6, calcium and iron. It's an antioxidant-rich vegetable that helps regulate the body's inflammatory process. Kale also contains carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress, as well as a high fiber content that helps lower cholesterol.
With all the different types of milk out there today, soy, almond, rice and even hemp, it seems that good old fashioned milk is still number one when it comes to athletes. Milk is loaded with carbohydrates and protein, which makes it an ideal post exercise muscle recovery beverage for endurance athletes. When carbohydrates and proteins are consumed together, muscle tissues are repaired at a faster rate than if consumed separately.
Bananas are one of the best pre- and post- workout snacks. It's no surprise that they seem to be included in every post-race goodie bag. Loaded with potassium and vitamin B6, bananas help maintain low blood sugar, regulate digestion and re-stock your body with lost electrolytes after any sort of physical exertion. Vitamin B6 in bananas acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps ward of cardiovascular disease.
Chia seeds are a nutrient dense super food that contains a high amount of fiber, three times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries, and are loaded with calcium, iron and protein. They also contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids and hydrophilic properties, which means that the seeds have the ability to absorb more than twelve times their weight in water, thus allowing prolonged hydration. The seeds help in retaining moisture and regulate the body's absorption of nutrients.