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Top 10 Supplements/Foods for Fitness Enthusiasts

Henry’s Farmers Market suggests the following foods and supplements to help keep fitness enthusiasts healthy this season:

1. Water, although technically not a food, is the most important thing a fitness enthusiast can put in their body. Water helps keep vital organs functioning properly by riding the body of toxins, hydrating muscle cells and helping the body burn fat by using it as an energy source. Athletes should drink at least one gallon of water per day, especially when exercising.

2. Sports Drinks, in addition to water, can help keep you hydrated during workouts. Sports drinks help replace electrolytes lost through sweat and provide carbohydrate energy to working muscles. Also, flavored sports drinks may be more appealing than plain water, so you might be more likely to keep drinking and stay hydrated.

3. A Multivitamin, taken daily is one of the best training tools for fitness enthusiasts. A multivitamin, which contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, will help keep the body healthy and give an athlete more energy.

4. Iron, is an especially important mineral for fitness enthusiasts. Iron carries oxygen in the red blood cells to the muscles and is necessary to produce energy. Lack of iron can cause anemia, fatigue and a decrease in endurance, so athletes need to make sure to eat plenty of iron-rich foods or consider an iron supplement.

5. Calcium is another essential nutrient for fitness gurus. Osteoporosis can be a problem for people, especially athletes and women, who do not consume enough calcium. Many people fall short of their daily calcium needs because they dislike or cannot eat dairy products. These people should look into taking a calcium supplement or eating soy products to make sure they are keeping their bones healthy.

6. Soy Protein can be an important tool for those looking to get and keep fit. Soy protein contains a good amount of key amino acids which may boost metabolism. Soy also contains isoflavones which can help lower cholesterol. Athletes can get soy protein from foods like soymilk, tofu, and edamame. It’s also a great idea to add a scoop of soy protein powder to the post-workout smoothie.

7. Low-Fat Proteins are important for athletes. Eating protein-rich chicken, fish and turkey (the leanest of all meats), will help athletes sustain energy during workouts and keep energy levels high throughout the day.

8. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, like vegetables, whole grains, brown rice, oats and sweet potatoes, provide energy without an abundance of calories to weigh you down. These carbs are filling and are rich in key nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and vitamin E.

9. Dairy products provide fitness enthusiasts with two key components – protein for energy and calcium for healthy bones. Lowfat dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, skim milk and lowfat cheese make perfect post-workout snacks.

10. Fruit is a great way to add both vitamins and water to your diet. Try oranges and melons which have high water content. But be sure to go organic as conventional fruits with high water content often have high levels of pesticides. Fruits are ideal snacks for both before and after a workout since they hydrate and provide energy with natural sugars.

Henry’s Marketplace, a subsidiary of Wild Oats Markets, Inc., operates 20 natural foods stores in San Diego and Orange County.