Can Certain Foods Increase Stamina?

by David Benjamin

If you imagine your body as a car, then food would be the fuel. To get optimal performance out of either a car or out of your body, you need to make sure that you are providing the highest quality fuel you can. Different foods provide energy at different rates. Some foods are good for a quick burst, while others provide constant energy. For improved stamina, the right choice of fuel can keep you going all day long.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an energy packed food that provides constant energy for hours. Oatmeal is an unprocessed, complex carbohydrate that your body digests slowly. Slow digestion keeps blood sugar at optimal levels and helps avoid the crash that typically comes with faster burning carbs. Oatmeal is highly prized by endurance athletes who depend on their stamina. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning will keep you going strong through your day.

Peanut Butter

It turns out that Mom was right to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the playground. Peanut butter has gotten somewhat of a bad reputation for its high fat content. All that fat, however, makes peanut butter a great snack for an energy boost that lasts for hours. The fat in peanut butter is high is calories and digests slowly. That’s good news if staying power is your goal. Peanut butter works best when combined with a carbohydrate. For an energy packed breakfast, mix a tablespoon of peanut butter in with a bowl of oatmeal.

Beans

Beans are a powerful food to increase stamina due to their high iron content. Iron is used by your body to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to working muscles. Beans are also high in protein, which slows the digestion of carbohydrates and provides a sustained energy release. A traditional combination like beans and rice provides lots of sustained energy.

Coffee

A cup of coffee before exercise will have a noticeable effect on stamina because of its caffeine content. Caffeine has been shown to improve resistance to fatigue in the clinical setting. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which explains why so many people worldwide start their day with a cup of coffee. Dr. John A. Hawley indicates in his article published in "The Physician and Sports Medicine Journal" that caffeine also improves your body’s ability to burn stored body fat as fuel.

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About the Author

Based in the Greater New York area, David Benjamin is a veteran of the fitness industry of over 15 years. He is coauthor of "The Business and Practice of Personal Training" and has lectured to countless fitness professionals. Benjamin holds a degree in physical education from the State University of New York, Cortland.