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Wake Up To The Power Of One

Grow Your Gains: The Most Nutritious Things to Plant in Your Garden This Summer

Is there anything more satisfying than heading out to your backyard to gather dinner ingredients? At DRYWORLD, we don’t think so. Homegrown ingredients are just… better. And you already know our stance on eating whole foods. Nutrition is as crucial as training. What better way to ensure you eat the freshest, nutrient-dense foods than by growing them yourself?

Looking to transform your summer garden into a powerhouse of nutrition that will maximize your gains?

“I started [gardening] because it brought me peace and a different kind of energy. It helps me get away from the real world. Big mental break.” —Fred Kerley

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Here’s your DRYWORLD athlete’s guide to the most nutritious things to plan in your garden this summer.

1. Kale

Kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green packed with vitamins A, C, and K, alongside antioxidants and fiber. You likely already know the saying that goes with dark green leafy veggies (high nutrients), but what does it mean for you? The vitamin content in kale helps boost your immune system for fewer forced rest days. It can also improve vision and help build stronger bones. High fiber aids digestion and helps with steady energy levels—perfect for training and game day. It’s truly a superfood for athletes.

How to Grow:

Kale is a relatively easy addition to any garden, and it thrives in cooler weather. It’s great for early summer planting. Just make sure it gets plenty of sunlight and water regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. 

2. Beets

You just can’t beat beets. They’re a powerhouse of essential nutrients, including folate, manganese, and nitrates. For athletes, nitrates improve blood flow and increase oxygen delivery to muscles, enhancing endurance, performance, and recovery. Beetroot juice has also been shown to improve stamina and reduce fatigue.

How to Grow:

Another cool-season crop, you can plant beets in early summer. They like a lot of sunshine and prefer well-drained soil.

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3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a lot of good stuff, including vitamin C, potassium (bye-bye, cramps!), folate, and lycopene—a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and supports heart health. All of those things lead to a faster recovery for your muscles! Believe it or not, another bonus to tomatoes is that their high water content also aids in hydration, which should always be your priority as an athlete.

How to Grow:

These bad boys need a lot of sunlight alongside well-drained soil. In fact, they require more care than the first two plants combined. But they’re worth it. Expect to partake in regular watering and staking or caging to support the plants as they grow. Plant them after the last frost, as they thrive in warm weather.

4. Sweet Potatoes

We love sweet potatoes as a clean source of complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy—great for endurance athletes. On top of that, they are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Those things add up to improved immune function, muscle recovery, and overall endurance.

How to Grow:

These guys need a long, warm growing season. Plant them in well-drained soil with a lot of sunlight. Luckily, if the weather cooperates, all you have to do from there is water them regularly. 

5. Bell Peppers

Have you ever crushed bell peppers after an intense workout? Bell peppers are high in vitamins A and C, both of which are important for immune function. They also provide antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress, often elevated after intense workouts.

How to Grow:

Another warm, sunny condition plant, bell peppers prefer well-drained soil and regular watering. Like tomatoes, they’ll probably need staking to prevent them from falling over. 

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6. Spinach

This one is music to Popeye’s ears. Spinach is loaded with iron, which is vital for oxygen transport in the blood and energy production. Spinach also contains vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, and calcium. All of these nutrients are critical for muscle function, bone health, and recovery. There’s a reason why Popeye was also showing off his pipes.

How to Grow:

Plant spinach in the late spring or early summer. It needs rich, well-drained soil and consistent watering. If you want it to produce a lot, harvest its leaves regularly.

7. Carrots

What’s up, doc? Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision, immune function, and skin health. Carrots also provide a decent amount of fiber, which helps out your digestive system.

How to Grow:

The excellent news about carrots is that you can plant them at any point in the summer. So, if you’re late to the game, it’s probably not too late! Put them in loose, sandy soil and full sun. Ensure the soil remains moist to prevent woody roots.

8. Blueberries

Great when you’re craving something sweet, blueberries are also packed with antioxidants. In particular, they’re loaded with anthocyanins, which help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. They also provide vitamins C and K and fiber, supporting overall health and recovery.

How to Grow:

The nice thing about these guys? You only have to plant ‘em once. Blueberries are perennial plants, meaning they come back year after year. Give them acidic soil, lots of sunlight, regular watering, and mulching to keep the soil moist and control weeds.

9. Garlic

Warding off vampires and sore muscles, you can’t go wrong with garlic in your garden. Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. It contains allicin, which can help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. So, next time your partner complains about your garlic breath, tell them it’s in the name of peak athleticism.

How to Grow:

Garlic is best planted in the fall but can also be started during the summer in areas with cooler climates. It needs well-drained soil and full sun.

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There’s no better guarantee about the nutritional value of your foods than by growing them yourself. Plus, it helps ensure your diet supports your athletic performance and overall health. Fresh, homegrown produce is not only tastier but also retains more nutrients. So, dig in! Let’s see your garden—and your performance—flourish this summer. What will you be planting?

"One thing that I love about vegetables is that you don't feel heavy after you eat them.” — Eddie Jackson

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