Thursday, 26 April 2012

Don't run on empty!

Nutrition is a big part of running and exercise (a bit I clearly need to get better at - I have had 2 bags of crisps today). If you don't give your body the right fuel to perform, you will find yourself hitting the wall much earlier than needs be and you will start to feel pretty crap. This is easily avoidable by eating the right foods and staying hydrated. I just wanted to outline some of my thoughts and suggestions for the best running foods I eat. This is not to say they are the only good foods, just the ones I enjoy.

1. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is great for runners and athletes. It is a fantastic, cheap, tasty source of protein and calories. If you whap some peanut butter on a slice of wholemeal toast you have a great slow release post workout snack to keep you going.I know some people will say "NOOOOO peanut butter makes you fat" but this is only true if you exceed your calorie intake per day. As part of a balanced diet it is great.

Warning - contains nuts.

2. Wholegrain Pasta and Bread

Runners obviously need to have a lot of Carbs in their diet to fuel the physical exertion. Whole grain foods are (by definition) less processed. Whenever food is processed you are loosing some of the goodness in the nutrients. With wholegrain products such as bread, pasta, cereal, you are getting more nutrients (so they are good carbs) and you are getting more fibre, so you will feel fuller for longer. I know that when you are trying to carb load bread or pasta is an obvious choice, so just as long as you stay away from the white stuff, you will be grand!

3. Bananas

I bloody love bananas. They taste great. They smell great. They are cheap. They are yellow. They are also really good for runners. They make a great pre-workout snack because of the SIMPLE carbs. This means that they can be broken down quickly and released into the bloodstream to give you an almost instant hit.

Also, when you run you sweat, and when you sweat your body looses potassium. Bananas contain the vital potassium to help you reload, which is important as it helps regulate muscle contraction and will mean you don't become crippled with cramp (which really 'cramps' your style when out running).

4. Tuna

Runners need a lot of protein too (between 60-90 grams a day) to help rebuild muscle after gruelling sessions. Tuna is a great source of lean protein, so it makes the perfect post-run dinner. Tuna is also full of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Some great tuna recipes can be found here.

5. Low fat yogurt

Low fat yoghurt is great. It is a great source of lean protein and carbs. The calcium content is perfect for runners to, because all of that pounding the pavement means that you will become susceptible to stress fractures. It is handy then to have strong bones to lower the risk.

Personally I eat Low fat yoghurt with bananas for breakfast when I am going out for a morning run. Also really nice too add to smoothies to make them a bit more creamy. More ideas can be found here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...