4. A Bowl of Yogurt
Constant training takes a toll on your immune system, leaving athletes susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections, but new research suggests that probiotics—the live active cultures in yogurt—may help keep you healthy. A 2008 study of 20 endurance athletes (published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine) found that taking daily probiotic capsules enhanced the activity of the athletes’ immune-boosting T-cells and cut the length of time they experienced upper respiratory tract infection symptoms by more than half. Probiotics can also help calm a queasy stomach, which is great for nervous athletes. Upshot: You’d have to eat vats of yogurt to reach the levels of probiotics the athletes in these studies consumed. Still, yogurt has a balanced mix of carbs and protein, so it’s a great post-workout recovery fuel.