There’s nothing better than feeling like your legs are completely aligned with your mind as you make your way through your usual run. That runners high that feels exhilarating, even breathtaking.
You want this feeling to last forever. Running keeps your heart, among many other body functions, in shape.
However, you need to make sure that you are fuelling your body with the right nutrients to keep it strong. There are general rules of thumb when it comes to eating healthy for the average person, but runners require a little more attention.
For those who live athletic lives, the perfect combo of carbohydrates and proteins in your diet will make all the difference.
If you’re not much a savory breakfast type of person, bananas make the best high-carb energy booster for an early run, as they contain approximately 400 milligrams of potassium. You can eat one by itself, or you can grab a yogurt or berries. Eat a banana, and it will help you get through that long run while keeping you strong and vibrant.
Eat some yogurt or a cheese and veggie sandwich after a run, and this will serve as a great combination of carbohydrates and proteins. Yogurt has a high percentage of essential amino acids, which needs to be obtained through food. Not only will yogurt give your immune system a boost, but it will also protect your muscles. Other dairy meals or snacks, such as chocolate milk, cheese, eggs, whey protein shakes, can also serve as healthy alternatives.
If you are not allergic to nuts, almonds may be the perfect snack for you as a runner. Doctors recommend that runners eat a small handful of almonds a few times per week, as they are a great source of vitamin E, containing a much higher percentage than in other foods. These nuts will help lower circulating cholesterol levels, decreasing your risk for heart disease. They can also protect against cancer. However, if you are allergic to almonds, other foods that contain vitamin E are spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, butternut squash, sunflower seeds. You can see more about the benefits of eating nuts for runners here.
Broccoli isn’t the only amazing source of protein. Black beans will do the job just as well. They contain antioxidants and vitamin B, which contribute greatly to the health of your heart and its circulation. Additionally, they are low glycemic foods, which help control blood sugar levels. While black beans are great for everyone, runners greatly benefit from a bowl of black beans, as they also enhance performance as a result of their steady release of energy when consumed.
Salmon and Chicken
If you don’t have time to cook an elaborate dinner, keep in mind that chicken or salmon can offer a lot of solutions. Easy and quick to make, salmon is an excellent source of protein as it contains omega-3-fats, which can help your body’s inflammation. If you’re tired of fish, chicken might be your best bet. With just one four-ounce serving of chicken, you will be done with half of your daily protein needs. Chicken protects your muscles and regulates fat burning during a run through its supply of niacin, lowering risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Whether you plan ahead or find yourself in the grocery aisle looking for food that will keep you healthy other than a bag of mixed greens, these foods will provide a runner with the best source of nutrients to keep you living, running and energised for another day.