Carbohydrates are a source of glucose, a type of sugar that the body burns for fuel during activity. But you can perform at your peak by eating other vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Here, six to incorporate into your diet.
B1: Called thiamine, it’s a B vitamin necessary for cellular energy production. “The brain mainly runs on glucose and turning it into energy requires thiamine,” says Drew Ramsey, MD, a New York-based psychiatrist. One great source is trout.
B12: The water-soluble vitamin is necessary for aiding red blood cell formation; a deficiency can lead to fatigue and mood problems. You'll find it in animal products, such as red meat.
Iron: This nutrient helps oxygen reach muscles. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, says Ryan Andrews, RD, author of A Guide to Plant-Based Eating. Try spinach with a squeeze of lemon.
Zinc: Signs of a lack of the mineral include tiredness, weakness, and a poor ability to recover after exercise. Stock up on poultry or oysters to ensure you're getting enough.
Magnesium: Not only is the electrolyte required for proper muscle function, but it also helps regulate blood pressure and keep energy levels high. Avocado provides the body with magnesium and heart-healthy fats.
Omega-3s: To optimize mitochondrial function, choose anti-inflammatory foods, particularly ones rich in omega-3s like salmon and grass-fed beef.