Which Fruits are Recommended for Athletes?

Not all fruits have the same nutritional value. Some are perfect for eating before you exercise, and others are better for afterwards.
Which Fruits are Recommended for Athletes?

Last update: 05 October, 2020

Eating fruit has benefits for everyone, and athletes are no exception. These natural foods have many antioxidants and micronutrients that are essential for good performance. However, it’s also a good idea to know when to consume certain fruits. Here, we’ll tell you about the fruits that are recommended for athletes.

When it comes to choosing a fruit, it’s important to know its nutritional value. Depending on the nutritional value and other characteristics, the best time to consume a fruit can vary. For instance, some fruit has higher water content. Others contain more natural sugars or carbohydrates.

In an athlete’s diet, carbohydrates should always be present. These nutrients help to replenish glycogen deposits in the body after physical effort. This is what an investigation notes that was published in Sports Medicine.

Bananas are characterized by the number of natural sugars they contain. Did you know that they’re one of the fruits that are highest in glucides? This means that they’re excellent for athletes to consume before, during, and after physical activity.

On the other hand, bananas contain potassium. A study published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation notes that a regular intake of potassium could be associated with a reduction in muscle cramps.

The extra potassium in bananas helps you avoid muscle cramps

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to consume bananas during long sports events, such as those that last for several hours or days. With the carbohydrates and potassium, as well as other nutrients, bananas can help you maintain a balance of electrolytes, avoid drops in performance, and reduce muscle pain.

Fruits with antioxidants, a great option

Considering the area of muscle recovery after exercise or sports, fruit with a high concentration of antioxidants is especially important. You can generally tell which fruits are high in antioxidants since they usually have bright colors. Antioxidants are usually pigments.

Typical examples would be fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, etc. These fruits can help to reduce muscle damage and also control excessive inflammation in the body if you eat them after a sporting event.

In fact, it’s been demonstrated that cherry juice, as well as cranberry juice, can help with athletes’ recovery. These curative qualities can allow the athlete to train at a high intensity just a short time after finishing a competition, for instance.

Fruits that contain water help with rehydration

Lastly, we have to make special mention of fruits with high water content. The best among the bunch are watermelon and rockmelon. Apart from the obvious benefits of their nutrients and antioxidants, c onsuming these fruits will also help you to stay hydrated.

Spikes and lows in hydration can be one of the causes of drops in performance levels during a competition or a game. To avoid these problems, it’s essential to drink water regularly. And of course, consuming fruit with a high percentage of water is also beneficial.

These fruits, which are highly recommended for athletes, should be included in your diet frequently. You can eat them before or even during exercise or playing your sport. They are also very easy to digest, which means they’re unlikely to cause you any digestion problems.

Watermelon is excellent to help rehydration

The consumption of fruits for athletes is very important

An athlete’s diet should be balanced and varied. To achieve a balanced diet, athletes should include fruit regularly. Not all fruit has the same nutritional value, as we’ve seen above. That’s why it’s good to know your fruit and include what will be most beneficial for you in your diet.

Remember that variety is the key to a balanced diet, as well as being more enjoyable. The more different kinds of fruit you can include in your dietary plan, the more balanced and healthy your diet will be.

As we’ve learned, before starting physical exercise, you can consume fruit with high water content to make sure you’ll stay hydrated. During your training or competition, the best fruits are those that have a high content of carbohydrates, especially in sports that go for several hours or more.

And lastly, once you’ve finished your session, it’s beneficial to eat fruit that’s rich in antioxidants. By doing this, you can help reduce muscle damage and inflammation and promote a quick recovery.

Finally, don’t forget that adapting your diet to your needs allows you to increase your performance and reduces the risk of injury. We also recommend that apart from including fruit in your diet, you limit your alcohol consumption. You should also avoid the intake of ultra-processed foods, especially those that include added sugar.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Impey SG., Hearris MA., Hammond KM., Bartlett JD., et al., Fuel for the work required: a theoretical framework for carbohydrate periodization and the glycogen threshold hypothesis. Sports Med, 2018. 48 (5): 1031-1048.
  • Murray D., Miller KC., Edwards JE., Does a reduction in serum sodium concentration or serum potassium concentratium increase the prevalence of exercise associated muscle cramps? J Sport Rehabil, 2016. 25 (3): 301-4.
  • Vitale KC., Hueglin S., Broad E., Tart cherry juice in athletes: a literature review and commentary. Curr Sports Med Rep, 2017. 16 (4): 230-239.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.