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The Top 7 Foods to Boost Performance

Your diet can make or break your run. Work these nutritious bites into your meals, from Marni Sumbal, RD, a sports nutritionist in Jacksonville, Fla.

Here are 7 foods that are not only healthy, but will also help boost sports performance in one way or another. Their benefits are backed both by science and experience.

Brown rice

Its carbs give you energy, while the fiber keeps you feeling full. Avoid cramps by giving yourself about an hour to digest before you run.


Beetroot triggers the release of nitric oxide to regulate blood flow. It'll bump seconds off your race time.


Pomegranates are high in the polyphenols shown to cut muscle soreness and inflammation by up to 10%.


Fruit is good, and berries are the best! Loaded with antioxidants, important vitamins and minerals, and bioflavonoids/phytochemicals that are strongly anti inflammatory! That’s always good news for anybody who’s training hard.
Not only healthy for you, berries can even reduce post workout/post practice muscle soreness… Some athletes use blueberries or tart cherries as their post workout carbohydrate source and report their recovery is much improved!(4)


Bananas have been found to be just as beneficial to stamina as sports drinks. Only without the chemicals or price tag.

Peanut butter

A tablespoon (high in muscle-fueling protein and healthy fats for sustained energy) spread on a piece of whole-grain toast can power up your run.


Chow down on this fruit after a run: It's loaded with bromelain, which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory that could accelerate muscle repair.