Tag Archives: foods

5 Fall Superfoods for Runners

We all know that to run our best, we have to eat the best. The cooler temperatures no longer ask for a fresh smoothie or a colorful tropical salad. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on our healthy habits and fresh, delicious foods as the temperatures drop.

These amazing superfoods are the living proof that we don’t have to sacrifice color, flavor and nutrients this Fall. And the best part, you can find them in the garden, in your local farmer’s market or grocery store.

Apples

Apples

This satisfying fruit is delicious when eaten raw or baked into a dish. Apples are high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber (4 grams of dietary fiber per serving) and, according to a recent study, also contain an antioxidant that may protect against muscle injuries, particularly those caused by downhill running.

They make a deliciously healthy post-run compote or can be paired with cranberries for an Apple Cranberry Pie.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels-Sprouts

Along with other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates, which destroy cancer-causing agents. In addition, these veggies are a great source of vitamin K, folate and iron.

Even though they have a bitter taste, these veggies taste divine when made the correct way. You can lightly steam them or cut them half, toss in olive oil, and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. They make great side dishes!

Sweet potatoes

sweet-potatoes

These veggies are more nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts: they are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of iron and they contain more potassium than bananas. A recent study showed that eating sweet-potato extract for a week boosted levels of antioxidants and lowered markers of muscle damage after a hard run.

Instead of boiling, try roasting them. They’ll taste even better, and you may preserve more nutrients than boiling.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates

This slightly sour fruit is rich in anthocyanidins, which help keep cholesterol levels healthy and, according to a study from the University of Texas at Austin, reduce post-run soreness. In addition, pomegranates are a good source of vitamin C and folate.

The juice provides a tangy base for marinades and post-run smoothies, and the seeds can be sprinkled over salads or yogurt.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is THE food of the season and can be used for much more than jack-o’-lanterns! Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, which is the nutrient responsible for giving pumpkin its antioxidants and rich orange color. You’re also getting other minerals, including potassium and calcium, and high quantity of fiber in exchange for fairly low calories.

Its sweet taste and moist texture make it ideal for pies, cakes, and even pudding!

6 Essential Foods for Runners

Suppose you could only add 6 ingredients to your must-buy list. As a runner, which foods should you choose?

A runner’s diet is important not for only maintaining good health, but also to boost energy, aid the recovery and shed some extra pounds.

So, before your next trip to the grocery store, make sure you add these 6 essential foods to your list.

Salmon

Salmon

Salmon should be included in every diet. This fish is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fats, which improve nervous system functioning and boost heart health by creating more elastic blood vessels.

Salmon also has protein, vitamins A, B and D and several minerals that are vital to a balanced and healthy diet.

In addition, salmon is a very versatile fish. Just add some fresh herbs and bake, grill, or poach it to put a healthy and delicious meal on the table.

Bananas

Bananas are among the best pre-workout foods for runners. They are an excellent source of carbs, with 0% fat, and are extremely high in potassium, which runners lose in sweat during exercise.

Bananas also help regulate muscle contraction, prevent cramping and are a “safe” pre-race food because they’re unlikely to cause gastrointestinal issues.

Whole Grain Pasta and Bread

Whole-grain

Pasta and breads are a runner’s best friends, before and after big workouts. They contain easily digestible carbs that help you fuel your runs and are ideal to restock spent glycogen stores.

But not all pasta and breads are created equal. Whole-grain versions contain more fiber, which promotes satiety and digestive health, additional B vitamins that are crucial to energy metabolism, and disease-fighting compounds such as lignans.

Instead of white bread or any baked products made with white flour, opt for whole-grain breads, pasta, rolls, crackers, and cereal.

Kale

If you want to add some green to your plate, kale might be one of the most nutritious options. Kale is a great source of vitamins A, B6, C and K, as well as iron and calcium.

Kale is also known by its strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help runners to recover from low-grade inflammation resulting from exercise-induced muscle damage.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet-potatoes

A single sweet potato contains the always-important carbs and supplies more than 250 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese and copper.

And you don’t need to do much to make them taste good. Cooked in the oven or even in the microwave, they always make a great side for dinner.

Eggs

Eggs are nutritional powerhouses! With just one egg you’ll be able to satisfy about 10 percent of your daily protein needs and ingest all the crucial amino acids your muscles need to recover from intense workouts.

You’ll also get about 30 percent of the daily value for vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health.

Eggs can be eaten at any time of the day. Put your creativity to the test and try some healthy omelets and frittata recipes.

What to Eat Before Your Run

Do you usually feel out of energy when you run? Before you lace up and get out there, it’s important to fuel your training with the perfect ingredients for optimal performance.

These simple tips will help you energize and get the most out of your workouts!

When to eat

What to eat before a run

When you begin your run, you shouldn’t feel neither hungry nor stuffed. In fact, eating before a run can cause cramping and not eating at all can lead to low energy levels while working out.

In general, after eating a big meal, you should wait 2 to 4 hours before running, and 30 minutes to 2 hours, if you just had a small snack. This is approximately the amount of time needed to fully digest your food.

 

What to eat before a run

What to eat before a run

There’s no ideal meal you should eat before hitting the road. Whether you’re a beginner or an athlete, you should always trial what works best for you. But when it comes to fueling up for a run, carbs are perfect allies.

For energy boosting meals before a run, choose something:

  • high in carbohydrates
  • that includes fluids
  • lower in fat, fiber, and protein
  • that has a reasonably high glycemic index score (GI). High-GI foods are absorbed faster and less strain is placed on the gut.

It might sound complicated, but it isn’t. Check out the chart below to learn what you can eat before get out of the door:

  • 2 hours before: 300- to 400-calorie meal containing carbs, protein, and healthy fats. Examples: cooked quinoa and grilled chicken; peanut butter and jelly sandwich; greek yogurt with fruit, nuts, and granola; or a cheese and veggie omelet with toast.
  • 1 hour before: 150-calorie snack containing easily digestible carbs and a little protein. Examples: whole wheat toast with nut butter; banana and small handful of cashews; or a small bowl of cereal.
  • 15 to 30 minutes before: small serving of easily digestible carbs. Examples: half a banana; applesauce; or raisins.

 

Which foods should be avoided

In addition to high-carb meals, you should always eat familiar foods, that you tolerate well and don’t feel too ‘heavy’ in your stomach.

Therefore, you must avoid rich, very fatty, spicy, or high-fiber foods, alcohol and drinking too much caffeine. These foods are well known causes of gastrointestinal distresses such as diarrhea and bowel upsets.

Want to add more tips to the list? Share your experience and comments below.