Shop Like a Boss: The Best Grocery List for Athletes
Grocery shopping was once one of the most basic tasks known to man. Fast forward 100 years and our stores have more products, flavors, food companies, and artificial additives than ever before. What once felt like a stroll in the park is now a race through the Amazon. In today’s world, how is an athlete expected to stand his or her “health ground” with so many options?
Fear, not my friends. Today I am going to show you the best grocery list for athletes. But first, let’s review a few key principles of grocery shopping.
What Makes a Great Grocery List for Athletes?
A great grocery list for athletes includes foods which help fuel the body for optimal performance. This is comprised almost entirely of fresh, whole foods which help decrease inflammation and support post-workout recovery.
First Step, Shop the Perimeter
Eat with a Purpose
Read the List of Ingredients Before you Even Glance At the Nutrition Facts Label
Many of us were raised to obsess over grams of protein, fat, sugar, etc. However, we now know that food has the ability to provide premium fuel to our cells and coding to our DNA. As a result, we have to be extra careful when reading a food label. The list of ingredients should be recognizable. I always tell my athletes,
“If you can’t find these ingredients in your grandmother’s kitchen, you probably shouldn’t be putting them into your body!.”
The whole point of proper nutrition is completely defeated when we eat “perfectly balanced”, chemical laden food products. Sometimes it can be really difficult to find such pure products. Hence why it is no surprise we are seeing more illness and injury in the history of our country.
Choose Store Brand Items
Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Frozen
Contrary to popular belief, buying frozen fruits and veggies can be more advantageous than buying fresh sometimes.
While there is no way to know for sure, it is often thought that frozen fruits and veggies are picked during their prime and frozen immediately. This allows a great percentage of nutrients to be retained. When it comes to fresh fruit and veggies on the shelves of your grocery store, there is no way of knowing how long the produce sat in a truck, then sat in the back of the grocery store, and then how long it has been sitting on the shelf in front of you. And let’s not forget all of the people that like to massage and sniff every piece of produce until they find the perfect match.
Keep a List of Core Ingredients
Whether your list is electronic or on loose leaf paper, make sure that you always have a grocery “core” of about 10 foods that you know to purchase every time you go to the store.
This is something you will eventually memorize. Not only does this method save time and money, but it helps to ensure that you are eating more balanced.
The core list should be a list of foods that a human could live off of (healthily) for a week. For example, no human needs chips or candy to survive, however, they certainly do need protein and vegetables. No human needs ice cream and juice, yet long-term health would suffer without quality fat and low glycemic fruit. Make sense? A common core list might include one form of animal protein and one form of plant protein, nuts, milk of choice, 2 fruits, 2 vegetables, 1 forms of quality fat, 1 starch. Ideally, these would be foods that could be combined in a number of ways and still taste great. Here is a great example of a core list:
- Black Beans
- Brown Rice
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
Do not Grocery Shop Hungry
Don’t Forget to Rotate
Always Know Before You Go
Drumroll, please….and now for the best grocery list for athletes.
Looking to have a grocery list that is well balanced and one that can be used for years to come? Check out the list below.