1. Chia seeds
Why they’re good: “Chia seeds have near double the protein of other seeds and grains, approximately five times the calcium of milk and double the potassium of bananas,” says Ralph. Athletes need to keep their bones strong and the calcium from chia seeds is especially easy for the body to absorb.
When to eat them: “This makes a great snack 15 to 20 minutes after the workout,” says Ralph. For instance, try adding a handful of chia seeds to your post-workout smoothie. For optimal recovery, Ralph also suggests adding chia seeds to a big salad two to four hours later.
Expert tip: If you’re in a pinch for time, Ralph recommends cutting an apple into wedges and sprinkling chia seeds on top for a quick and nutritious calcium and vitamin hit.