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Foods Runners should Avoid

If you want to improve your running performance there are certain foods that you need to exclude from your diet, writes Nandini Reddy.

Food is the fuel that helps us achieve our running goals. Then we need to have only high quality fuel in order to get the best performance. The right food promotes better recovery and provides the right kind of energy to improve running performance.

There are certain foods that we eat without considering the effect they might have on our body. The wrong food means inadequate repair and longer recovery periods. It could also mean that you would get certain muscle related injuries. If you are looking to achieve the best performance while you run then here are certain foods that you should keep out of your diet.

High Sugar Foods

High sugar foods are never healthy. You may feel that it is necessary to boost your energy but you can avoid the cakes and cookies. Energy need not come directly from eating high sugar foods. You can get energy even from complex carbohydrates like whole grains.

Oily & Fried Foods

Fried food is a definite no-no when it comes to a good diet. Another thing to remember is many of us consume too much oil without realising that our regular food. If oil can be seen in the food you cooked even at home, it means its not healthy for you. Use oil prudently and you will be able to enjoy your food always. Fried foods and oily foods also take longer to digest and can create gastrointestinal distress.

Sugary Sodas

Caramel coloured bubbly sodas may be momentarily satisfying but can also lead to dehydration and increased sugar cravings. They do not really satisfy your thirst. These can be hard on your stomach and can derail your training energy. So for these drinks instead of moderation, you can just clean avoid them.

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose need to be strictly avoided. They can lead to dehydration and increase sugar cravings. These sweeteners are also known to cause weight gain. These sweeteners also tend to confuse the body signals about insulin and it is never a good idea to do that.

Full fat Diary

Full fat diary is a good consideration if you want to grain weight. If you want to lose weight and feel lighter then its not a great option to include in your diet. If you like your glass of milk then look for those that are 3% fat or less. You can also choose alternatives like rice milk and nut milk.

Alcohol

With alcohol its not about elimination but moderation. Having too much can cause slowed reaction times and dehydration and thus leading to decrease in performance. But before the race you need to definitely avoid alcohol of any sort including beer. You can consider beer for a celebratory drink after your finish the big race.

White grains

White grains are not high in fibre. If you consume whole grains along with the carbohydrates you will also receive adequate fibre. A healthy gut is important to ensure that you are a good runner. White grains also tend to raise your insulin levels and that can cause your energy to plummet. Whole grains give you more lasting energy.

Processed Meat

Processed meat is high in nitrates. Increasing their intake also carried other health risks such as colon cancer but most importantly it doesn’t do anything for improving your running performance. It might seem easier to reach for a cold cut of meat instead of cooking fresh but by doing so you are severely jeopardizing you nutrition.

The key to a healthy running career is a healthy diet, so limiting or avoiding these foods will do you a whole lot of good.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Superfoods for Runners

Get stronger, run longer and slim down with these super foods that work wonders for runners, writes Nandini Reddy

Whenever we hear the word – Superfoods – we always imagine something exotic. But in reality it should imply foods that are high in nutritional value that are powerhouses of energy. These foods are nutritionally superior but also loaded with nutrients that are highly beneficial, especially for endurance athletes.

Runners are expending energy daily and using nutrients that are necessary for our health and vitality. During exercise and throughout the day,  free-radicals are released into our body that need to be ‘neutralized’ by antioxidants. Superfoods are believed to have the power to deliver all these benefits. So what do superfoods really help in –

Boosting metabolism – Superfoods provide fibre and protein in good quantities. These foods will resist starch and break down the extra energy in the body. These foods also help in controlling appetite which makes it easier for people to sustain energy levels and stave away hunger pangs between meals. Beans, lentils and chilies are great foods that help boost metabolism.

Burn fat faster – These foods help in burning fat faster in the body. They are loaded with special oxidants that that promote fat oxidation and thermogenesis, that helps in releasing energy from digestion. This energy released helps power muscles while you run and strength train. The best foods for this are sesame seeds, beef and green tea.

Feel Full – Food that you eat should make you feel full for longer. Eating food hot, psychologically helps us feel fuller than eating cold meals. Foods that help you feel full also work as building blocks and repair your muscles. These proteins will also control your hunger and add the right nutrients that will keep you blood sugar in control. You can eat eggs, thick vegetable soups, potatoes and avocados to gain these benefits.

High Nutrient Value – When you are running you need essential vitamins and nutrients to power your muscles. These vitamins help convert proteins, fats and carbohydrates efficiently into energy. Vitamin C keeps your immune system in good shape. The foods you can eat to get these benefits include lime, peppers, oranges, berries and tomatoes.

Full in anti-oxidants – Foods that are low in calories and rich in anti-oxidants are a great addition to a runners diet. Most of these foods are enriched with Vitamin K that plays a big role in ensuring proper clotting of blood. The foods in this category include greens, beets, lettuce and cabbage.

Water is an essential requirement in any diet. It may not ‘technically’ be  a ‘food’ but without it we cannot survive.  Dehydration is one of the main causes of fatigue and muscular stiffness. Drinking water through the day will increase energy levels, and not to mention the health and vitality of your skin and hair.

Nature is generous and provides us with many nutritional options that can pave the path to greater fitness and health. Superfoods give you the right boost to ensure that you are charged for every run.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

Read more