While running is a healthy activity that helps you remain fit, it takes a big toll on your body, with both your bones and muscles undergoing a lot of stress, strain and fatigue. If you don’t pay attention to your diet, your body will not be able to recover from the rigors of running and you will be unable to perform to your best. Here are 6 of the best foods for runners, including all the essential and useful nutrients, to help you put out your best and subsequently recover.
Runners need carbohydrates, which are readily available sources of energy. However, they also need to ‘stock’ energy for long runs, and the usual sources of carbs burn quite quickly. This is where whole-grain pasta comes in. Not only is pasta a good source of carbs, if you eat it the night before a run, you will also boost your reserves of energy.
Eating chicken is very beneficial for runners because their muscles need protein for rebuilding and recovery after strenuous exercise. Moreover, chicken also has selenium and niacin, both of which are extremely useful for runners. Selenium helps protect muscles during rigorous exercise and niacin helps the process of burning fat during exercise.
Yes, chocolate is actually beneficial for runners because of its effects on the heart. However, the responsible antioxidants, called flavonols, are only present in the darker varieties of chocolate and a small portion everyday can lead to lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. These flavonols also reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent the blood from getting too thick.
Vitamin C has been proven to reduce muscle soreness and oranges can provide your daily requirement of vitamin C, and then some. The zest from oranges also has antioxidant powers and a compound called herperidin, which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Egg protein has all the essential amino acids needed for the recovery of your muscles, and one egg can make up for 1/10 of your daily protein requirement. Moreover, they are also rich in vitamin K, which is crucial for your bones. Along with all these benefits, eggs are also useful for your brain function and eyesight, along with reducing risks of heart disease.
Almonds, like other nuts, are rich sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which most runners can’t get because of the lack of good sources. Eating almonds thrice a week can lead to lower LDL cholesterol levels and improving the health of your heart. Moreover, the form of vitamin E in almonds is not replaceable by supplements.Images courtesy: fieldandfeast.com