“Don’t let this little seed fool you—quinoa has amazing nutritional content that makes it a real superfood,” Villacorta says. Its power comes from its ideal balance of carbs and proteins. With all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is considered a complete protein, meaning it maximizes muscle protein synthesis post-workout. It is also a complex carbohydrate (46 grams per cup) which is metabolized at a slower rate, giving you longer-lasting energy for your workout, Villacorta explains. Plus, quinoa contains vitamins C and E, which help prevent free-radical damage from your workout, he adds.
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