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.