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Amazing Avocado – a great green treat to boost your sports performance

Tips from the World Avocado Organization on how to unlock Olympic potential

Physical activity and a balanced diet are the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. With the Olympic Games in Paris on the horizon, the World Avocado Organization is sharing some tips on how to boost sports performance. With the help of nutritionist, Kerry Torrens, a registered nutritionist and BBC Good Food contributor, anyone who wants to reach their physical potential can learn how eating avocados before or after their workout can help to elevate sporting performance.

Avocados are an Olympic Champion, Packed With Essential Nutrients

Avocados offer a powerhouse of nutrients ideal for optimal athletic performance. They are rich in healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential in supporting energy metabolism, muscle function, and recovery.

Avocados stand out for their high levels of monounsaturated fats which are not only a great fuel source but also support blood flow, help deliver oxygen to muscles and can help to reduce inflammation. B-group vitamins help convert food to fuel, whilst vitamin C helps fight fatigue and boosts energy levels. Also, avocados contain lutein which protects joints and cartilage, biotin which supports energy levels and is essential for muscle growth and repair and potassium which helps muscles function and can help fight off the peskiest of cramps. This high-fibre fruit not only helps to keep the gut in good shape, which is necessary for any athlete but also helps reduce tiredness, particularly after a hard session.

Kerry Torrens, says “The nutrient profile of avocados, including high levels of B vitamins, supports recovery and aids in stress management, making them a go-to choice for athletes seeking sustained performance. With one of the highest protein contents of all fruits, avocados are ideal pre and post-workout.”

Tips To Include Avocados In a Sports Diet

Whether incorporated into pre-workout meals or post-exercise recovery shakes, avocados are poised to play a central role in the success of athletes competing at every level.

● Enjoying a nutritious smoothie or breakfast bowl (see recipe below) before engaging in physical activity will provide the body with sustained energy, hydration and nutrients to go that extra mile in your chosen sporting realm.
● Incorporating avocados in small pre-training snacks or meals (ideally 2-3 hours before a session) will also help to adequately fuel the body for the tough demands of any sport.

● After a gruelling exercise session, avocados are ideal for replenishing lost nutrients. These small, but mighty fruits, are a useful source of protein and are rich in antioxidants including lutein and vitamins C and E which help cell regeneration, reduce inflammation and aid muscle recovery. Having a high water content, avocados also help restore hydration levels and replace electrolytes lost during exercise.

● When needing recovery or rest, especially after an injury, alleviating muscle soreness and boosting recovery can be key. The high unsaturated fatty acid content present in avocados is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects which may help this, as well as helping to improve blood flow in tense and tired bodies.

Zac Bard, Chairman of the World Avocado Organization, adds “As athletes and sports enthusiasts prepare to witness the world’s greatest sporting spectacle, the message is clear: avocados are an excellent superfood for maximising the sporting potential of anyone – from a top athlete to someone simply looking to get back into shape”.

Interview with: Rob Teague, National Wheelchair Tennis Athlete

Rob shared some interesting facts about how he got into sport.  Here’s what he told us:

What got you into sports?

My love of sports came from my parents, my Dad played football and did cross-country running, and my mum played tennis and swam, so I grew up having a very active childhood and from there, my love of sports grew.

What is the importance of proper nutrition in sports and what do you eat to fuel your body ahead of a sports performance?

Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of athletic success, providing the fuel needed to conquer the challenges of each match. For me, avocados are a great source of fibre, healthy fats and vital nutrients that help prepare my body to be at its best on the court

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming Olympics?

A lot of work goes into training and preparation ahead of any sporting event and I love witnessing the emotional journey of an athlete as they realise their dream in real-time and see that preparation come to fruition

Two Recipes from the World Avocado Organization to help boost Olympic performance

Avocado Power Bowl
(Serving: 2)

Top tips: This recipe is easily scale-able to meet your specific needs – any extra may be frozen for future use. Remember to always try new foods/recipes during training rather than on the day of an event.

1 small ripe avocado
100g fresh or frozen mango
1 handful spinach
1 small ripe banana
2 tbsp ground almonds
125ml milk of your choice/coconut water

Tsp of honey to taste

Kiwi, sliced
Almonds (flaked)
Pomegranate seeds
Fresh mint leaves
Equipment: Blender

How to prepare:

1. Put the avocado, mango, spinach, banana, ground almonds and milk in a blender and whizz to a creamy, smooth consistency. Add honey if you like.
2. Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding a splash of water or milk.
3. Divide between two bowls and add toppings of your choice.
4. If you intend to store or freeze your smoothie, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to preserve its colour and vibrancy.

Nutritional information: Per Serving: 281 kcal, Fat 18.4g, Saturates 3.8g, Carbs 19.2g, Sugars 17.5g, Fibre 3.7g, Protein 7.8g, Salt 0.09g

Avocado Recovery Plate
(Serving: 2)

Top tips: This recipe is scale-able so you can adapt it to meet your specific training needs. Prepare the recipe ahead of time, so it’s ready to eat for optimal recovery. The recipe makes a batch of 8 corn cakes – any extra can be frozen for future use.

2 chicken breast fillets
2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper
Avocado oil

Corn Cakes:
450g sweet potato (peeled and grated)
100g plain flour
85g sweetcorn kernels (frozen or canned)
Chives (chopped)
1 medium egg
1 tsp chilli flakes
Avocado oil for frying

1 small avocado
120g Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
1 spring onion (chopped)
Pinch mustard powder
Splash of milk

200g pineapple (cut into small chunks)
½ avocado (diced)
1 kiwi (diced)
2 spring onions (chopped)
½ small red chilli(chopped)
Fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp lemon/lime juice

Mixed leaves
½ Avocado
Fresh herbs

Food Processor or box grater
Hand blender

How to prepare:

1. Put the paprika and seasoning in a bowl, massage a little avocado oil onto the chicken breasts and evenly coat them in the spice mix. Place on an oiled baking tray and bake in the oven at 180C/160C fan for 18-20 minutes. When cooked, leave to cool, then slice ready to serve.
2. Once you’ve grated your sweet potato squeeze out any excess liquid, place in a bowl and season generously. Add the flour, sweetcorn, chives, egg and chilli flakes and combine well. The mixture should start to bind, if not add another tablespoon of flour. Shape into 8 corn cakes.
3. Heat some avocado oil in a pan and fry your cakes in batches – the cakes will need about 3-4 minutes on each side. If you intend to eat straight away, keep the cakes warm in a low-temperature oven, alternatively reheat in a pan or enjoy them cold.
4. To make the dressing, scoop the avocado into the bowl of a hand blender, add the yogurt, lemon or lime juice, spring onion and a generous pinch of mustard powder – blitz to a creamy consistency – add a splash of milk if necessary.
5. Combine the salsa ingredients, mixing well.
6. Serve the chicken and corn cakes with a mixed salad, salsa and a generous serving of avocado dressing.

Nutritional information:
Per Serving: 887kcal Fat 29.6g Saturates 6.7g Carbs 109.5g Sugars 30.9g Fibre 18.4g Protein 36.5g Salt 1.25g

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