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Foods to Improve Athletic Performance and Recovery

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The effects of spinach and berries on oxidative stress, inflammation, and muscle soreness in athletes. Subscribe to Dr. Greger’s free nutrition newsletter at http://www.nutritionfacts.org/subscribe and get a free excerpt from his latest NYT Bestseller HOW NOT TO DIE. (All proceeds Dr. Greger receives from his books, DVDs, and speaking directly support NutritionFacts.org). For research on other natural athletic interventions, see: • Reducing Muscle Fatigue with Citrus (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/reducing-muscle-fatigue-with-citrus/) • Reducing Muscle Soreness with Berries (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/reducing-muscle-soreness-with-berries/) • Preventing Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress With Watercress (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-exercise-induced-oxidative-stress-with-watercress/) • Fennel Seeds to Improve Athletic Performance (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fennel-seeds-to-improve-athletic-performance) • Coconut Water for Athletic Performance vs. Sports Drinks (http://www.nutritionfacts.org/video/Coconut-Water-for-Athletic-Performance-vs-Sports-Drinks) • Doping with Beet Juice (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/doping-with-beet-juice/) • Enhanced Athletic Recovery Without Undermining Adaptation (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/enhanced-athletic-recovery-without-undermining-adaptation/) Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/foods-to-improve-athletic-performance-and-recovery and someone on the NutritionFacts.org team will try to answer it. Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/foods-to-improve-athletic-performance-and-recovery. You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgments for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics. If you’d rather watch these videos on YouTube, subscribe to my YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=nutritionfactsorg Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution! -Michael Greger, MD FACLM Captions for this video are available in several languages. To find yours, click on the settings wheel on the lower-right of the video and then "Subtitles/CC." http://www.NutritionFacts.org • Subscribe: http://www.NutritionFacts.org/subscribe • Donate: http://www.NutritionFacts.org/donate • HOW NOT TO DIE: http://nutritionfacts.org/book • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NutritionFacts.org • Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nutrition_facts • Instagram: http://instagram.com/nutrition_facts_org/ • Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NutritionfactsOrgMD • Podcast : http://nutritionfacts.org/audio/
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Text Comments (207)
Mikekaveli Tha don (5 days ago)
Ahhhh this was a nice video but Ahhhh I hate the way he talks😂😂😂
Do you believe that kale would have the same effect as spinach? I love spinach but I also love the kale! Maybe eating both is for the best :)
MrDesoto1 (6 days ago)
Fascinating subject. I wonder if it would help my sore legs (DOMS) the day after cycling.
KAiSKAjO (6 days ago)
He is the God of rap. Maybe a lot of people don't want to admit it because he is white but that's ridiculous. He has proved that music has no boundaries and he made a name for himself even though he was doing music that was "traditionally" made by black people.
Gilles Rodrigues (6 days ago)
Hi people So 10ml/(kg/min) means how much grappe juice quantity per day?
Small To Swole (7 days ago)
Going vegan was the best decision I ever made
Peter Faber (8 days ago)
Lots of healthy nutrition from vegetables alone definately speeds up recovery. Explains why I have less muscle soreness the next day. I like this video. Now I have a way to determine if I ate enough veggies. And I don't have to feel disapointed when I don't have that much soreness.
Liana Tiriac (8 days ago)
I shall eat moar spinach!
Corvux IX (8 days ago)
This guy's information is interesting but his vocal fry is insufferable...ugh!
Omar Diaz (8 days ago)
El cacao y la avena que recomiendas al final son elementos duros que irritan el aparato digestivo, particularmente la avena tiene avenina que es similar al gluten e inflama.
nik Wallace (10 days ago)
I keep hearing that spinach can harm the kidneys, any truth to this?
guest_01 (10 days ago)
lol I've been eating 1/2 cup of (cooked from frozen) spinach a day (which according to cronometer, is about 95g) because of the vitamin K and because I liked the taste, good to know it actually helps me recover faster, proven by science!
Flying Angel (10 days ago)
I love ❤️ spinach and broccoli 😋 it’s so freaking delicious. I like to drink self made smoothies with banana, coconut milk, rice milk, 2 full spoons of organic and sugarfree beanut butter and 2 handful of spinach . I drink that often after working out 🙃😋😋😋
Davin Hanson (11 days ago)
1:08 thought that was a burp! been watching too much Rick n Morty haha. <3 dr greger
Victor Jimenez (11 days ago)
do u have the foods mentioned before your workout specifically or just included it in your diet regardless of when you have it?
Marujita Díaz (11 days ago)
You missed to mention whether those antioxidants can hinder adaptation to physical training, since some reactive species are known to have a role in the signaling required to elicit muscle repair and remodeling: • Merry TL, Ristow M. *"Do antioxidant supplements interfere with skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise training?"* _J Physiol (2016 Sep 15) vol. 594 (18) pp. 5135-47_ DOI: 10.1113/JP270654 physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley. com/doi/abs/10.1113/JP270654 ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC5023714 ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pubmed/26638792
Fangni Lin (11 days ago)
Someone answer this please:if we eat too much veges,can we put too much pressure on kidney due to high oxalate level???
Daltira (11 days ago)
Wheat grass would be wayy more effective.
xscott902x (11 days ago)
My post work-out recovery smoothie recipe: 150g Frozen Mixed Berries (the kind I buy has blueberries/blackberries/raspberries/cherries) 50g Spinach(could do more) 1/2 Banana 1/2 Golden Kiwi(may help boost immunity to common cold/flu) 1.5 cups Soy Milk 1 scoop Vegan Protein powder(optional) 1/4 tsp Turmeric Pinch of Black Pepper (to activate turmeric) 1 Tbls ground flax 1/4 tsp Cinnamon (anti-inflammatory)
mjs1231 (12 days ago)
For all you athletes. Pay attention. Pre work is 5 medjool dates in 2 cups water blended till frothy. Have a few gulps before you lift, sip it while lifting. For giant recovery you need 3 granny apples, 1 peeled lemon, 1 full bag of baby spinache, half a bag of watercress, nickel size ginger root. Juice that combo after every hard workout in a juicer and you will see results that are so good that you will freak out. Dates for mass energy and a big green drink for recovery. And there are many other benefits.
mjs1231 (12 days ago)
Watercress is better
Yakov Butterfield (12 days ago)
So Popeye was correct
PhaseSkater (12 days ago)
Whys this guy stutter worse than a tweaker?
Paul Schoenmann (12 days ago)
Dr. Greger have you ever encountered Dr. Sebi's theories? Alkaline vegan diet? Avoiding starches?
Illidan Stormrage (12 days ago)
Spinach? What for is not even close to the real deal. In comparison is useless
DevinDTV (12 days ago)
Why does this guy struggle so much to complete a sentence?
Ayan Halder (12 days ago)
Can you make a video on this?? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1028854/How-strict-vegan-diet-children-ill.html
Yunis Rajab (12 days ago)
Popeye had a point
spen (12 days ago)
does anyone know more foods that have a similar effect?
gcerpa (12 days ago)
What about the huge amount of oxalates in spinach and berries?
Matt Evans (12 days ago)
A follow-up to one or all of the cases would be great. Like, is the effect of the spinach the same if you use kale or broccoli? Can I get the same results with strawberries and blue berries as they got with cherries?
Amande Douce (12 days ago)
I knew PopEye was right!
Preston Thugman (13 days ago)
I cook my spinach, is that still good for me? I cook it in things like burger.
venus in arts (13 days ago)
dang plants are powerful
crazy coco (13 days ago)
for more informations on this rabbit way of eating... https://rabbit.org/articles/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Rabbit_Food_Pyramid-page-001.jpg
Sudipta Das (13 days ago)
The real question is, should I eat spinach raw or cooked ? I boil my spinach. Am I doing it wrong?
Ryan Garro (13 days ago)
M R (13 days ago)
0:49 exerdise?
joulden3 (13 days ago)
More of these type of videos please!!!
PineappleQuesadillas (13 days ago)
Imagine having to post about how you're a vegan on every youtube video, as if it's the only interesting thing about you.
Progress forward (13 days ago)
You taught me to heal myself, eternally grateful.
mrjamesgrimes (13 days ago)
What’s all the fucking groaning after every goddamn sentence?? Annoying mutherfucker
Steve Bouchard (13 days ago)
Someone know a study on de Nuevo lipogenesis that tell efficiency ? Mathematically, 9 gram of carb should convert to 4 gram of fat but I strongly doubt that the case !
Raffael K (13 days ago)
spinach is overrated n the green w the most anti nutrients
jordan e (8 days ago)
Don't need sources for blind belief
PaleDale (11 days ago)
Raffael K cite sources?
Raffael K (12 days ago)
its science u just wanna jump on a team if its proven otherwise id eat it more
mas (12 days ago)
Joseph Matthew Fabian (13 days ago)
Popeye the sailor man! Toot toot
Anti Centrist (13 days ago)
alicia ali (13 days ago)
There is very common Indian/Asian vegetable called bitter gourd and it has amazing sugar lowering effect also Black plum or jamun in Asia With tons of vitamins and antioxidant , can you please Give information on them.
Educate Society (13 days ago)
Popeye was right...
Manuel Del Toro (13 days ago)
What about with kale
Stargirl (13 days ago)
Really need some videos like this :)
Cerenade Me (13 days ago)
2:29 They must've used spinach pills, because how do you make a placebo salad? 🤣
1st Art Gallery com (13 days ago)
farginargle (13 days ago)
Hi, thanks for this. I can get sour cherries dried. Is that okay? I would think it would be even better than tart cherry juice.
kingmike40 (13 days ago)
Popeye had it right.
fewwef weffefwf (13 days ago)
it should be illegal for women to workout and gain muscles. this will masculinize women and cis straight men will not want to reproduce with women that look like men. this will effectively destroy birthrates, leading to our extinction. if a man does however reproduce with a muscular woman, it will prove that he is a faggit that loves masculinity and will pass his faggit genes to his child, rendering his child worthless in terms of reproducing. prove me wrong, if you can...
Weeat (13 days ago)
Here is an idea of the most vibrant vegan diet(Not to necessarily strive for but just to know its there for times of necessity, disease, health imbalances etc.and the vibrancy that can be experienced) .. Try to keep an open mind as there are only a handful of people that know about this and almost none who have truly experienced it.... here are the four elements of the diet you consume each day.. 1) (A lot of) whole, fresh wheatgrass (grown in the ground only) a)It is amazing and savory tasting when you know how to grow it… the stuff in trays has multiple issues which is why it tastes so imbalanced b) it is a fallacy that grass cannot be digested and that we need multiple stomachs. I have empirically experienced this diet for 18 years and until you experience it you’ll never understand, 2)(A little) slightly sprouted wheat 3) (A little) clay 4) (A little) water There is way too much to say about this diet on a comment but I’ll address a few things you’re probably wondering right off.. A)The low-calorie aspect of this diet is not a problem-You’ll understand when you feel how active and generative your cellular force becomes when you eat this diet. You will also feel perfectly satiated as all the material will be metabolized right inside the cell(with perfect chemistry and blood sugar balance) as opposed to some of the toxicity of acidic/alkaloidal diets where the material is stuffed outside the cell as bloat and inflammation. Poisons(natural or synthetic-but mostly natural are where most people ingest poisons) irritate and starve the alimentary canal. B)The vibrancy of a diet for the body or the soil is measured by fertility/life force. Grass is a complete food in itself and is the only plant family that has no natural poisons/toxins/anti-nutrients/pesticides/dehydrants/etc... Your water system works on a whole new level in the absence of toxins and when the chemistry and generation is perfect. So your mouth and body stays wet, sweet and alive all the time. Fertility happens when there are no poisons and nutrition is complete. Wheat is simply the most fertile of all of the grasses as one can see with their own eyes it’s the most elastic food. What you are seeing in its elasticity is acute molecular organization with a tensile strength and amount of cells that no other plant has. Grasses are the only plants that do not decay- meaning their chemistry does not change when they break down. That’s how alive they are. The odors that come from your body are sweet only.. which exemplifies absolutely no disease causing microbiology that it could ever attract. C) The idea is to not think about extremes and how extreme this may seem.(even though environmentally, financially and healthfully it’s the least extreme thing on the planet) But to understand what the top is and to experience it fully for an allotted period of time so you will always know where the balance and real stability and life force lies. D) The taste is actually extremely palatable and the more you do it the more your cells desire this taste. You start to lose the taste for the acids and alkaloids that are in fruits, vegetables, herbs and so forth. E) I’ve been vegan for 24 years and have experienced this for 18. When you eat grass you are getting the minerals that you don’t get from fruits and vegetables, not to mention the anti-nutrients that make a lot of them not absorbed. So yes, you are eating what the animal eats. So I understand why the meat eaters think we need meat but meat is simply grass second hand. F)You’re not lacking fat on this diet. Some people feel they do well on diets with plenty of fat but when you’re eating that much chlorophyll from grass it has a similar effect to fat(this is too much to cover here) even though it is loaded with the essential fatty acids in the predigested form. G) Not only are you not constipated on this diet, but every bowel movement takes on the shape of your G.I. tract. What that means is you are simply feeding and cleansing every crevice possible. You’ll start to realize that feeding, generating and cleansing are one in the same when you eat complete, clean and perfectly metabolized food with perfect chemistry. H)"Gluten Intolerance"? my belief.. a)gluten is the protein of wheat,rye,etc. which has perfect chemistry so by definition it cannot be an "allergen" b)people "react" to it because they eat it cooked, they eat too much and without any of the green grass that grows out of it, their system is so toxic that they do not posses the micro-force/enzymatic action to break it down, they eat it with other plants such as tomatoes, alcoholic substances, etc.that further destroy microbiology, people don't understand the value of eating clay for probiotics, chemistry balance, detox, making everything else they eat more absorbable(there is way too much to say about clay here) c)when you feel how alive, limber and elastic the raw wheat gluten will make you feel on the proper balance of this diet you will never question gluten again I)At this time, I have no interest in trying to teach this, prove this or debate this on a YouTube channel. I have no commercial interest in this whatsoever. I’ve been slowly writing a book on this for years but it’s just to have all of this experience and knowledge in order. Believe me, I realize an unbelievably small percentage of people would connect to this at all including the vegans.. My reasons for finally reaching out are many I could discuss later. I really appreciate your work and I hope to deliver all of this information to you soon.
Great video, Dr. Greger. More videos on fitness would be great :)
koenvandenh (13 days ago)
Great content!
Theresa Marie L (13 days ago)
I googled "good foods for muscle recovery" around 3/1/18 and found dried apricots & figs with Dr Greger's website and am now a certified groupie of his nutritionfacts.org
Androth (13 days ago)
what the hell? i remember reading over a decade ago that spinach was bad for muscle recovery.
Maja Larsson (13 days ago)
Haven't clicked so fast in a while ;)
vteam02 (13 days ago)
What about muscle growth?
Fauna Friendly (13 days ago)
Yes yes yes yes more sports nutrition videos please!!!
doug brown (13 days ago)
I've been a distance runner, year round, since 1973. I experienced the normal aches and pains and soreness after hard worouts and races ... until ... three years ago when I went on a plant based diet. Zero soreness or pain after workouts or races these days. For example, yesterday a 10 minute warmup run, then 20 minute run at 85% max heart rate / 3 min rest / 90 sec run at 95% max heart rate/ 3 minutes rest. Then 3 times [20 half squats, 20 power skips, 20 lunges] / 2 minutes rest, 2 X 20 single leg half squats/ 90 sec rest, 2 X 30 standing hamstring curls with ankle weights/ 2 min. rest. Sure my legs are "tired" today. And I'll jog for an easy 50 minutes today, but not sore. I'm 62. Plant based nutrition works.
Gregory Power (13 days ago)
Good thing I have my half marathon this week, time to really start pounding the spinach.
haku (13 days ago)
this video didn't appear in my sub box but it did in my notifications bell, even tho i never activated the bell notification icon.. youtube plz :( is youtube really trying to control what we watch? check out this tweet on their official twitter page https://twitter.com/teamyoutube/status/999150003863085056?lang=en
Ian Flynn (13 days ago)
been having spinach and berry smoothies after my workouts, it's no coincidence that the muscle soreness has stopped recently... :O
David C (13 days ago)
More videos like this please!!! 😀👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍😁
GoustiFruit φ (13 days ago)
I think that anyone who made the switch will tell you that their improved recovery is the most noticeable effect they get on a vegan diet ! But the fact that muscles get less "oxidized" on a vegan diet, does it mean that it's more difficult to build muscle ?
Gilles Rodrigues (6 days ago)
GoustiFruit φ No I believe better the recov is, better is To build muscle! trolling🤣🤣
baya tellai (13 days ago)
True true and true, the more I add spinach and fruits post workout I noticed less sore muscles and I'm back to the gym faster. So happy science is proving the benefits of spinach feeling like popei
Sonja V (13 days ago)
Connie F (13 days ago)
It makes a man, a better man.....a great athlete, a super athlete by harnessing all his strength....Let me educate you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=940_EOYRyqU
michael onello (13 days ago)
thank you Dr. G...!
Random (13 days ago)
So does it promote muscle growth? Or just reduces the pain?
Sonja V (13 days ago)
Random it allows you to train for longer & more often. So if you take advantage of that aspect you may be able to benefit with more gains.
Akalion (13 days ago)
I'm on dat dere spinach bruh
Vegan Beard Guy (13 days ago)
I knew he wouldn’t say ice cream 🙁
Sonja V (13 days ago)
Vegan Beard Guy 😂😂😂
urthebest1122 (13 days ago)
Veering a bit off the focused topic here regarding tart cherry juice. I drink it for a different reason. It is proven to help with better sleep and has helped me quite a bit over the last few years with insomnia.
urthebest1122 (13 days ago)
In a nutshell and again, spinach is healthy! Eat your greens people. :)
MrAuggie01 (13 days ago)
Thank you so much for this video 🙌🏽
1234LOEL1234 (13 days ago)
I have been waiting so long for this video
The Spinning Dancer (13 days ago)
🍇Berries and greens,🌱 berries and greens, I'm a little lad who loves berries and greeeeens. 🎵
T C (13 days ago)
Excellent presentation. Thank you!
tax slave (13 days ago)
How do I grow muscle on a vegan diet? Seems impossible for me to increase muscle tissue the way I did when I was still eating animal protein.
tax slave (13 days ago)
Gives me just a belly...
ScottieDOESknow (13 days ago)
Caloric surplus.
tax slave (13 days ago)
Thanks for your elaborate answer. Beans bloat me AF. Will look into all other stuff you mentioned!
Shane Creamer (13 days ago)
Some suggestions: Have you watched any vegan bodybuilder channels to see what they are eating? What are your protein sources? What does your amino acid profile look like? What do your macros look like? I wasn't making much progress until I realized I wasn't getting enough protein or calories, and I was missing about 6 amino acids in my daily intake. I now get about 1.5-2kg of protein per pound of lean body mass, using pea and hemp protein in addition to beans, chickpeas, etc. I now get all 23 amino acids at good levels, and I can put on 1/2 to 1 inch of muscle a month again when I can be consistent (49 year old former power lifter). Good luck!
Austin Vegan (13 days ago)
Eating a massive salad with spinach, kale, beets, blueberries, mango and mixed nuts as I'm watching this! Thank you Doctor Greger!!
Kassie Alvarez (13 days ago)
I COULD USE YOUR HELP <3 ! Made a video on a cruel industry and would love your support! Any kind of support I would be so grateful for! https://youtu.be/7ruMfBlNj-Y
Comrade 269 (13 days ago)
Popeye knows best.
Mats Mathisen (13 days ago)
Woah.. nice 💪
Squeak's Buffeteria (13 days ago)
Eat more plants basically???? 🤨🤩🧐
SultanNify (13 days ago)
Dr. Greger can you make some videos about straight strength training. Which is very intense resistance training
Manuel López (13 days ago)
ya lo decía Popeye
Herbivore Nation (13 days ago)
Also remember kids that your body will adapt to consistent training. So consistency as well as high fruit and veg diet is the way to go!
pmgmail (13 days ago)
I love DOMS, absolutely love it.. But anything that helps repair, I'll definety consider. Thank you Dr. Greger..
ORGANIC PIANO (13 days ago)
Hey Dr. Greger why do I have nasal congestion after going plant based (entirely vegan)? It's the type I can't blow out or doesn't go away. It's still for 1 year and felt it immediately after dropping animal products. I follow a healthy diet like your daily dozen, except I can't keep up with the mushroom intake for more than 1 week. I feel like legumes were the culprit but I don't get much gas from them unless I cook them poorly. But I can't drop these because I need the protein intake. My digestion is also kinda bad. Overall I feel good but this nose thing bothers me when I workout and want to breathe in that good *ss prana =)
ORGANIC PIANO (11 days ago)
PaleDale no that's impossible, since i can go days without gluten containing foods, beans, potatoes, oatmeal, fruits veggies, rice and the problem is still there. I don't get a reaction from whole wheat pasta.
PaleDale (11 days ago)
ORGANIC PIANO maybe you have a gluten intolerance?
ORGANIC PIANO (11 days ago)
PaleDale well not for me I eat tons of tempeh it's really good in taste and protein. Maybe different kind of probiotic is needed?
PaleDale (11 days ago)
ORGANIC PIANO i had bad digestion and i fixed it by just eating a very small amount of tempeh. fermented foods do wonders for your gut bacteria
ORGANIC PIANO (13 days ago)
farginargle what were your symptoms? I only have a congestion, swelling of the lining and little mucus, so don't think it's an allergy but intolerance so I think it's hard to detect.
Ysp (13 days ago)
We never knew why Popeye got his strength from spinach, until now!
Lichtblick (13 days ago)
I told you that fruit juice is not bad!
PaleDale (11 days ago)
Lichtblick fruit juice is bad
Barnaclebeard (13 days ago)
Even if it has good qualities, it still has bad qualities that you can avoid by eating the fruit instead.
Rahim (13 days ago)
Shiiiit u still going strong in the comments section?
First Last (13 days ago)
Lichtblick fruit juice is not bad but dumbasses load em with sugar.
Adamimmune (13 days ago)
Spinach everyday all day.
Roz Is (10 days ago)
Only spinach. Just spinach. No other food. There is no other way. Spinach
Joseph1NJ (13 days ago)
If I'm feeling sluggish, I usually have about 4 Oz pure grape juice as a pre workout. None of caffinated chemical laden commercial pre workout junk for me.
meocats (13 days ago)
why eat all this spinach and berries when you can just take amla, which is a more powerful antioxidant
Goju Shiho (13 days ago)
I've never noticed a reduction in DOMS from leafy greens or berries, and I drink a lot of green smoothies. But I almost never get DOMS when I workout in fasted ketosis. I hope the good doctor will one day add fasting (intermittent as well as prolonged) to his "Daily 12". (Daily 13?) Not a criticism... I've followed Dr. G's work for years now and feel indebted. :)
Sonja V (13 days ago)
Goju Shiho I get DOMS after working out fasted, but it's quite mild (unlike before I upped my intake of greens & fruits) & goes away very quickly.
Vegetto Blue (13 days ago)
Spinach is my favourite leaf

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