Superfoods for Runners
Long-distance runners or endurance runners as you call them know very well that all those gruelling workouts have a tremendous impact on the body and mind.
So, what has to be filled in your daily recipe to finish the run feeling euphoric and also to recover and be ready for the next workout?
The answer is – right nutrition! The fuel that sets you up to be a steady and consistent endurance runner!
You see the word “Superfoods” almost every time you walk through a grocery store. If you think that superfoods are something exotic and are hard to source. You are wrong. We are bringing you a list of regularly available food items that are available at all your local grocery stores and are easy to source.
By setting your nutrition right, you can optimize your running with a basic spread of these well-known “Superfoods”.
Runners need foods that consistently provide energy without any chance of depleting the energy reserve in the body. Oatmeal is the perfect food that meets this requirement. It causes your blood sugar level to rise slowly, provides you with energy over a long period, and keeps you feeling satiated longer. Oats have plenty of carbs and are a good source of protein. Oats have high soluble fiber content, low glycemic index, and required body minerals. Moreover, they are a good source of getting antioxidants.
Cherries must be present in every runner’s diet. It is amongst the most antioxidant-rich superfoods. Cherries accelerate the muscle recovery process as they have a high concentration of nutrients rich in anti-inflammatory properties. It is also called an endurance superfood.
Are you contemplating consuming walnuts as they are high in calories? Although they are high in calories, nuts contain high levels of minerals and plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids. They can help support your body’s natural function, particularly if worn down by lots of high-intensity activity. Walnuts are rich in fiber, Vitamin B, antioxidants, and they are known to increase HDL(good cholesterol) and decrease LDL(bad cholesterol).
- Sweet potatoes
Training for long hours can put your immune system at stake, so it is essential to include foods that can support your immune system. Sweet potatoes are power-packed with vitamin A. It is essential for the immune system and also for good eyesight. Most runners are exposed to UV rays for an excessively long period. So, Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes can come to their rescue by repairing cell damage due to prolonged exposure to the sun.
What is it that makes blackberries a big yes in a runner’s diet? Blackberries are low in calories, high in antioxidants, and full of vitamin C. They contain vitamin K, which is highly essential for strong bones, and also holds a good amount of fiber.
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds are an indispensable addition to your diet. They are packed with double the protein than other seeds and five times more calcium than milk. They are vital for people with an active lifestyle.
Bananas are a great source of vital vitamins and minerals. But most importantly, the potassium in bananas is necessary for stimulating electrical impulses in the body to fire up your muscles, lower your blood pressure and facilitate proper hydration. It is helpful for long-distance runs or during hot temperatures when you are likely to sweat a lot and thus lose valuable minerals.
Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, thiamin, and folate. Thiamin is important because it converts carbohydrates into energy. Folate (Vitamin B-9) is essential in red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function. Lemon is also known to aid in digestion.
Broccoli might be a burden to eat for a few people, but its nutritional properties make it a must-have in everyone’s diet chart. This green vegetable is full of vitamin C. Vitamin C can prevent sore muscles after intense workouts. Broccoli is also a good source of calcium, folic acid, and vitamin K. One major advantage of broccoli is that it contains a large amount of potassium, and potassium is vital for muscle growth and muscle recovery. Apart from having complex carbohydrates, broccoli also contains a good amount of fiber.
- Peanut butter
Pure peanut butter without any additives like sugar, salt, or oil is a good source of vitamin E, which is probably the most effective antioxidant among the vitamins. Peanuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower cholesterol levels in your blood. To add on, they are crucial for strengthening your immune system, speeding up your post-run recovery, and preventing injuries. Peanut butter also contains a good deal of protein and thus helps your muscles grow, making it a crucial component of a runner’s diet.
Coffee? It would not mean you pour a jug of milk with ounces of sugar. The important thing is that you drink black coffee – without milk and sugar. A cup of coffee can give you high-intensity interval training a boost. The caffeine contained within helps you run faster and cover your training distance in less time.
In a nutshell!
It is a proper combination of the right training and nutritious food. Eat right, sleep well, rise and Run!