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Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source. They are essential for optimal performance. Our muscles need carbs to burn during exercise, and eating the right amount of carbs helps give our bodies the energy it needs. Our body naturally craves complex carbs for a longer, sustained energy source. This is because complex carbs are our bodies’ preferred source of energy. To make sure you’re getting enough energy required for your activity level, eat a mix of fruits, whole-grain pastas and breads, and vegetables, and eat these complex carbs in small doses throughout the day to ensure optimum glycogen storage.
Sweet potatoes are a slow-digesting source of energy that is great for athletes. The sugar level in sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index and they are full of vitamin A and antioxidants. They soothe sore muscles and maintain fluids in the body.
Brown rice contains both protein and fiber. It’s also a gluten-free, high in fiber, carbohydrate source that is easy to break down. It’s a great source of vitamins A, C, and E, along with zinc and potassium. This makes it a nutritional powerhouse for a moving body and a great post-workout meal. Wild rice can be eaten in salad and tastes amazing in soups.
Oats are a great breakfast choice. These types of grains are great for the heart and they are high in fiber and low in saturated fat. They contain magnesium, which helps maintain nerve and muscle function and metabolism in the body.
Bananas contain great amounts of potassium that helps restore nerve and muscle function and also vitamin C. These nutrients are needed to help support the immune system. They provide a quick natural source of energy and sugar and make the perfect snack for a busy body. Smoothies, cereals, cookies, and desserts are great when paired with bananas.
Chickpeas are a good source of complex carbs per cup, as well as fiber and protein. Chickpeas give of carbs at a slow rate to help balance blood-sugar levels over long periods of rigorous exerice. Avoid foods with a high glycemic index such as corn, instant cereals, white rice, white bread, and other refined foods as they raise your blood sugar and insulin levels rapidly.