Fueling Up: Granola for Athletes
For most people, a balanced diet translates to roughly 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent protein and 20 to 35 percent fat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you’re working out a few times a week taking brisk walks, doing exercises classes at the gym or getting together with your tennis buddies for a couple sets, these guidelines serve you well.
Those numbers shift, however, for endurance athletes such as cyclists, marathon runners, triathletes and the like. Those engaged in intense exercise for more than 90 minutes at a time need plenty of fuel to keep their energy up and help them recover post-workout. The best source of that fuel is carbohydrates, particularly complex carbs. Experts suggest endurance athletes boost carbohydrate intake to about 70 percent of their diet to combat fatigue and help them prepare for and stay energized during intense workouts.
Granola provides an excellent source of carbs to prepare athletes for grueling workouts. Our Homemade Granola with Wheat Germ boasts plenty of carbs to kickstart athletes on training day. Adding foods to your granola that take a little longer to digest will help keep up your energy over the long haul. Topping your granola with yogurt does just that. Adding a tablespoon of Kretschmer Wheat Germ also provides a boost of B vitamins, critical to helping break down carbs for energy.
Foods rich in vitamin C help athletes recover from injury more quickly and decrease the occurrence of soft tissue injury, sprains, muscle problems and tendonitis. Strawberries, kiwis and oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C and also offer a great flavor boost to your breakfast granola.