Whether your exercise goals are to maintain your current health, increase muscle, or to get faster or stronger, your nutrition can have a positive impact on those goals. Although, eating one specific food will not make you Superman, an overall balance of foods can help your exercise performance. Blueberries are a sweet little fruit that are in season from April to late September. These plump and juicy berry is one of nature’s great treasures and don’t often get associated with exercise performance foods but it should. Check out these benefits, along with a recipe for Blueberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal.

Water Content of Blueberries

Blueberries contain 85% of their weight from water! Our bodies need water for pretty much every bodily function. Total water intake includes drinking water, water in beverages, and water in food. Regardless of the form, the water gets absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and acts the same physiologically.

In one survey of adults (Nationwide Food Consumption Survey), total water intake was about 28% from foods, 28% from drinking water and 44% from other beverages. The survey suggested that 20% of our water intake should come from foods, while the other 80% comes from beverages.

Eating a handful of blueberries can help you stay hydrated. And your hydration level has a huge impact on your exercise performance since water regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, and transports nutrients for metabolism processes.

Blueberries are a Complex Carbohydrate

Blueberries can positively affect your workout because they are a complex carbohydrate. One cup of blueberries provides 21 g of carbohydrates, coming from fructose, glucose, and fiber. Carbohydrates provide a good source of energy. Even better, they’re a complex carbohydrate, which is slow digesting. This means that the energy you get from blueberries or other complex carbohydrates are long-lasting. Blueberries have a score of 53 on the glycemic index, which is considered relatively low. This means blueberries do not typically cause a major spike in blood glucose levels.

Blueberries can Help with Exercise Recovery

If you’ve experienced muscle soreness after an intense exercise session, then you know what exercise-induced muscle damage or delayed onset muscle soreness feels like. What happens after you work out is the muscle or muscle groups that you stimulated are damaged and inflamed, and experience oxidative stress. This reaction is not bad and is temporary and your body does heal itself. Some research has looked how how antioxidants can play a beneficial role in promoting recovery post-workout, such as research presented in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Researchers found that the participants who consumed blueberries had better post-exercise performance. Although, there was no significant difference in how the individuals rated their muscle soreness levels, their performance in follow-up tests was better. This research suggest that blueberries may help speed up recovery.

Blueberries Contain Numerous Vitamins and Minerals

Blueberries contain a number of vitamins and minerals that help maintain good health and help improve athletic performance. They are high in vitamin K, which is responsible for blood clotting.  And when your body is low in vitamin K, it does not clot properly, which can lead to sub-dermal bruises and slower recovery from injuries. Another vitamin is vitamin C and with just one serving of these berries you get almost 25% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for growth and development of tissues, wound healing, and your immune system.

Blueberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal

I’ve shared baked oatmeal before on the blog, but this recipe is slightly different in the base. I used old fashioned oats this time, which in my opinion I like the heartiness that these oats have. You can take these with you for a post workout snack or eat for breakfast on the go.

These baked oatmeal cups are also freezer friendly so you can make a batch ahead of time and thaw them as you need them.

 

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Blueberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal
blueberry baked oatmeal
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
blueberry baked oatmeal
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well until combined.
  3. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or use muffin liners.
  4. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the mixture into each muffin cup.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Share this Recipe