We usually have some lying around at home, but we never really think about citrus fruits as super foods. The truth is that the peculiar chemical profile of citrus fruits means they are packed with vitamins and acids that are great for metabolism, enzyme production and energy retention. If you are into any physical activity at all, make sure you have citrus fruits as part of your sugar intake. Here’s what you can look forward to in some of the popular citrus fruits:
Let’s start with the most unassuming of all. Lemons are loaded with Vitamin C, along with thiamin and foliate. Thiamin helps transform carbs into energy and which is consequently really good for runners, and any high-octane activity. Apart from using lemon juice in your salads and for seafood, you can also opt for whole pieces in your main courses, or use big segments to flavor soups and stews. Add some lemon rind to smoothies for some zing along with the sweetness.
From the tiniest, to perhaps the biggest of them all. With a high Vitamin A and C content, along with pantothenic acid, red grapefruits are armed with a whole load of goodness, despite their notoriety for being tart and bitter. Pantothenic is used by our body to break down proteins, carbs and fats and store them in our energy cells. Think of it as a reserve charge for your body, excellent for distance runners. Use grapefruit segments or chunks in a veggie salad to lift the flavor, or use its juice to marinade lean meats for some delicious taste explosion.
A regular feature in most households, oranges make for a great quick fix before your run. It provides just enough energy for your workout – each orange has about 60 calories. And as a natural source of Vitamin C, your muscles will be thankful for the extra protection. But remember: Processed orange juice packs a whole lot of sugar and carbs which may result in discomfort while training. So stick to the whole fruit or fresh juice for your diet.
Sweet lime or Mosambi
This is a not-so-secret, delicious source of hydration. Instead of carbonated energy drinks that may make you feel bloated, drink some humble mosambi juice to quench thirst and for your hydration needs. Squeeze some sweet lime juice into your hydration pack before working out and have a sip every 20-25 minutes to stay hydrated. Besides quenching your thirst, it will prevent aggravation of dehydration conditions.
If you happen to come across clementine on your next grocery run, do make it a point to pick up a couple. Not only does it have a great taste by itself, it’s packed with so much vitamin C that it alone can take care of more than half (up to 60 percent) of your daily intake needs. Vitamin C protects your muscle DNA from long-term damage due to heavy training and regular usage. And what’s more with just 35 calories in each clementine, it’s a perfect addition to your breakfast or pre-workout meal, to make up that daily calorie quota.