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My top 10 foods for athletes

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Michael Naylor is arguably the nation’s leading sports nutritionist, having worked with the likes of England Rugby, Team GB and Southampton FC. He has Co-Founded Tweakd with elite sports chef Omar Meziane in order to create performance-focused frozen meals. "It’s important to consider that when working with athletes, we don’t promote foods as 'Super Foods’... we always take an individual approach, working back from the athletes’ health or performance goals. From this, we match nutrition with great tasting food to contribute to solutions. Here are some great foods to consider when leading an active lifestyle".

Here are 10 foods you would frequently find the elite consuming:

1. Salmon It’s high in protein, which helps to support muscle tissue repair. It’s also rich in Omega 3, which may support inflammation management.

2. Rice A high carbohydrate favourite to boost muscle glycogen stores the day before big events.

3. Steak A good source of protein that aids muscle recovery and muscle mass, as well as providing Iron to support endurance performance.

4. Vegan Chicken A vegan chicken alternative, such as ‘This Isn’t Chicken’ is ideal for helping vegan athletes hit their protein goals, assisting with muscle mass and recovery.

5. Beetroot It’s high in dietary nitrates which has the potential (in less endurance-trained athletes) to improve oxygen delivery to muscles and endurance performance.

6. Cherry Juice Not only is it delicious, but it is high in polyphenols which have the potential to support recovery, sleep and reduce muscle soreness.

7. Milk That staple of every household - which is a great source of calcium to aid bone health and is often used post-training to support recovery. This is due to its protein and carbohydrate content to encourage muscle tissue repair and replenish glycogen stores.

8. Broccoli More often than not, this favourite for athletes is present on a daily basis. Why? Because it’s a good source of Vitamin A, E, C and K – helping to support a range of functions from immunity to bone health. 9. Rice Pudding Even athletes get to eat dessert, but they need to pick wisely. This is why a carb packed rice pudding is consumed in the lead to many major events.

10. Greek Yogurt Often consumed for its high protein content to support recovery and muscle mass. Top it with nuts and fruits to create a fantastic, healthy dish.

Learn more about Tweakd here.

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