Athletes who train for muscle gain, muscle strength, or endurance should benefit from consuming kiwi regularly. Kiwi is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, which protect athletes’ good health. Also, it has an enzyme that increases the absorption of protein! Above all, a kiwi has fewer than 45 calories, helping athletes stay lean.
Kiwis are packed with vitamin C & other antioxidants
Certainly, kiwis are among the richest foods in vitamin C. 100g contains about 75 mg of vitamin C, or 83% DV (Daily Value). So, consuming 2 kiwis a day is enough to get more than the recommended daily dose of vitamin C! Actually, kiwi has more vitamin C than oranges!
Moreover, kiwi is pretty rich in many other antioxidants. For instance, 100g of kiwi has 122 mcg of lutein & zeaxanthin, 52 mcg of beta-carotene, and 1.3 mg of vitamin E.
Eating foods rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants keeps us healthy. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body. Otherwise, high amounts of free radicals can cause oxidative stress, obesity, premature aging, cancer, diabetes, age-related eye disease, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, and many more.
Therefore, we should eat lots of foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables. But, athletes should avoid taking antioxidant supplements. Unless your doctor has advised you otherwise.
In fact, antioxidant supplements won’t help you recover faster after exercise. Many studies have shown that post-exercise vitamin C supplementation can’t improve muscle recovery or muscle soreness.[2,3]
On the contrary, athletes who work out for muscle growth should avoid taking vitamin C supplements regularly. In fact, high doses of vitamin C from supplements can inhibit muscle growth!
A daily vitamin C dose up to 250 mg is more than enough for athletes. We can get this dose having at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C a day. The recommended daily dose for vitamin C is only 90 mg.
Kiwi enhances immunity
Furthermore, vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols, and dietary fiber in kiwifruits are all beneficial to the immune system! According to studies, kiwifruit influences a number of biomarkers of oxidative stress and beneficial immune responses.
It can reduce the incidence and severity of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Most noteworthy, kiwi, as all other foods with vitamin C, seems more beneficial than supplementation with vitamin C alone.
What does it mean for athletes who train for muscle growth, strength, or endurance? More time to the gym throughout a year and more intense workouts.
Kiwi helps us absorb more protein
Moreover, kiwifruit helps the body digest more protein from food. Actually, kiwi has an enzyme called actinidin which enhances digestion of a variety of common food proteins, and protein-rich foods such as milk, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and cereal proteins.
Therefore, next time you’ll prepare your favorite protein smoothie, don’t forget to add a kiwi!
Kiwi helps absorb more iron from food!
Furthermore, eating kiwi is beneficial for athletes because it enhances iron absorption. High iron levels are necessary for increased energy and endurance. It’s crucial for oxygen transportation to muscle.
Iron deficiency leads to impaired aerobic power. Moreover, reduced oxygen transport to the exercising muscle may place higher demand on anaerobic metabolism, greatly deplete muscle glycogen, and even delay muscle recovery after exercise.
Athletes are at a high risk of becoming iron deficient. Especially, women and endurance athletes. That’s because we lose pretty high amounts of iron when exercising.
Consuming kiwis can help us absorb more iron! Vitamin C, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin significantly enhance iron absorption. Kiwis are excellent sources of these 3 compounds! So, athletes and women with low iron stores could benefit from eating kiwifruit regularly.
Kiwi can help you sleep better
Moreover, kiwi helps us sleep! Good night sleep is necessary for athletes. That’s when muscle grows and recover from exercise.
Kiwi regulates appetite
Also, kiwi is great for a lean body. A kiwifruit has only 43.5 calories! Moreover, it’s an excellent source of dietary fiber, containing 2.25g per fruit!
A diet high in dietary fiber has been linked to decreased risk of obesity! We should consume at least 28g of fiber a day.
Furthermore, kiwifruit is mainly water. Hence, it can regulate appetite, helping athletes lose weight and lower their body fat percentage.
For a greater satiating effect, eat kiwis after a high-protein meal, as it aids in protein digestion.
Kiwi hydrates athletes better than water
Last, but not least, kiwi is a fruit that can hydrate athletes after an exhausting workout. Actually, it’s 84% water. Most noteworthy, kiwi will replenish lost electrolytes. Electrolyte imbalances can significantly affect sport performance and muscle recovery.
Just a kiwi will give you 63g of water, calcium (26 mg), iron (0.18 mg), magnesium (12 mg), phosphorus (25 mg) potassium (148 mg), zinc (0.1 mg), copper (0.1 mg), and many more!