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    In recent years, there have been studies in the literature reporting the ergogenic effect of some different foods on sports performance. Given the reasonable number of studies in which some food has shown improvement in some physiological variables related to physical performance, a review is pertinent in order to produce a compilation of these studies, providing new elements for athletes and coaches which aim to optimize their performance. Thus, the objective of this work was to present a systematic review of the findings regarding the potential ergogenic effect of food for athletes. Researchers performed a double-blind research in Medline/PubMed considering articles published until January 2019 which resulted in 71 articles. Increased time until exhaustion, improved aerobic capacity and strength recovery were the most commonly reported physical effects. In general, food showed equal or superior ergogenic activity over supplements. Although the number of foods investigated is reasonable, there is still no body of evidence for each studied food, except beets. The current data support the possibility of certain foods being able to enhance athletic performance, as well as serving as an energy source. However, a larger volume of studies is needed to form a body of evidence on each of these foods.


    Matheus S Costa, Luciana T Toscano, Lydiane de Lima Tavares Toscano, Vanessa R Luna, Rayanne A Torres, Janilson A Silva, Alexandre S Silva. Ergogenic potential of foods for performance and recovery: a new alternative in sports supplementation? A systematic review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2022;62(6):1480-1501

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    PMID: 33226268

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