Best Food for Runners
Every runner knows that it is important to eat the right kinds of foods to fuel their running, writes guest columnist Sowmya Ganesh, founder of Coubutu Juices, Chennai.
Liz Applegate, a director of sports nutrition says that “with a little more attention to whole, real foods, runners don’t have to rely on energy drinks, bars and gels at all.” Real food is everything! Here is a list of real, natural foods, that would be vital to all runners.
This simple bi-product of cheese is super rich in amino acids and can be absorbed by the body faster than other proteins, helping to speed up your muscle repair. You can consume whey in the form of a smoothie, where the proteins can be broken down to repair your body and the fibre to satiate you.
Almonds are very rich in the antioxidant Vitamin E, which improves muscular strength and endurance. It is also rich in protein and heart-healthy fats. A dose of almonds can be best enjoyed in the form of a nourishing almond milk, which is nutritionally dense thanks to a large dose of almonds being pressed to milk. You can even consume it in your breakfast smoothie for added nutrition.
One of our most favourite foods, bananas, are real energy boosting foods for a reason. They contain large amounts of potassium, which is essential for runners as it helps maintain electrolyte balance in the body, as well as reduce fatigue. Make the best of bananas by introducing them in your breakfast in the form of a healthy smoothie, where the potassium can kick start your day.
This leafy green is high in vitamin A and can protect your muscles from damage. It is also high in calcium, increasing bone strength, which can reduce stress fractures (an injury common with runners). Spinach contains a lot of iron, essential for boosting your energy levels. Give yourself a good dose of spinach in the form of a green juice. This could be the best way to start your day, by allowing your body to absorb all the nutrients a healthy green juice has to offer!
A 100g of broccoli would have you fulfilling your daily requirements for Vitamin C and Vitamin K! These vitamins help the body repair from running related injuries and also assist with bone strengthening. This is important so your body can be protected from stress fractures. A good way to get this into your diet would be to add it into your salads. You can also gain maximum benefit by consuming it in your green juice!
Here is a super rich wholegrain carbohydrate loaded with antioxidants. This is great for runners to get their daily carbohydrate needs. The conversion of carbohydrates into glucose is essential as this is the main source of energy for the body. Black rice is best consumed in salads, along with an accompaniment of other protein and healthy fat-rich elements such as broccoli, cheese, nuts, etc.
This gut-healthy healer is rich in protein and calcium. The live cultures in yogurt help introduce healthy bacteria to your digestive tract, helping it function to it’s best. Always remember to choose yogurt without added sugars as that is the healthiest option for consuming yogurt. When water gets too boring, hydrate with a rich probiotic drink. Not only will it hydrate you but it will also keep you feeling full.
And finally, water! Say no to sports drinks and energy drinks with are high in additives, preservatives, and sugar. Choose to hydrate naturally with the best fluid from nature – water.
Running can drain you of nutrients so its always better to fuel up the right way!