The Best Food for Runners (Part 2)

by Mary & Christina on October 13, 2010 · 0 comments

Thought I forgot about the second part of the “best food for runners” did ya?  Dont fret, I did not forget. just wanted to keep you on the edge of your seat…aka I have been too busy/lazy lately.  anyway…  if you missed Part 1 of “the best food for runners” click here! but if not…read on to learn about even more foods that you should be consuming to optimize your running performance.

Question: Do you eat these foods?  What are your favorite brands to buy?  What are your favorite recipes that utilize these foods?

Whole Grain Bread

Runners need at least three to six one-ounce servings of whole grains per day, and eating 100 percent whole-grain bread is an easy way to meet this requirement since one slice equals one serving. Whole-grain bread may also help weight-conscious runners. One study showed that women who eat whole-grain bread weigh less than those who eat refined white bread and other grains. Whole-grain eaters also have a 38 percent lower risk of suffering from metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by belly fat, low levels of the good cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels. All this raises the risk for heart disease and cancer.Don’t just stick with the popular 100 percent whole-wheat breads. Try different varieties of whole grains such as barley, buckwheat, bulgur, rye, or oat.

Frozen Stir-fry Vegetables

Research shows that eating a combination of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, may lessen muscle soreness after hard interval workouts by reducing the inflammation caused by free-radical damage.  Most ready-to-use stir-fry veggie combos offer a potent mix of antioxidants by including red and yellow peppers, onions, bok choy, and soy beans. And frozen vegetable mixes save lots of prepping time but still provide the same nutrition as their fresh counterparts.


Add to your diet: Dump the frozen vegetables right into a hot wok or skillet, add tofu, seafood, or meat, your favorite stir-fry sauce, and serve over brown rice. Or throw them into pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking, drain, and toss with a touch of olive oil. You can also mix the frozen veggies right into soups or stews at the end of cooking, or thaw them and add to casseroles. Vegetables store well in the freezer for about four months, so make sure to date your bags.

Whole-grain Pasta

Pasta contains easily digestible carbs that help you restock spent glycogen (energy) stores. Whole-grain versions are a must over refined pastas because they contain more fiber to fill you up, additional B vitamins that are crucial to energy metabolism, and disease-fighting compounds such as lignans.

Chicken

Runners need about 50 to 75 percent more protein than nonrunners to help rebuild muscles and promote recovery after tough workouts. Along with protein, chicken contains selenium, a trace element that helps protect muscles from the free-radical damage that can occur during exercise, and niacin, a B vitamin that helps regulate fat burning during a run.

Frozen Mixed Berries

The colorful compounds that make blueberries blue, blackberries deep purple, and raspberries a rich shade of red are called anthocyanins–a powerful group of antioxidants that may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers.  Anthocyanins may also assist with postrun recovery and muscle repair. Frozen berries are just as nutritious as fresh ones, but they keep far longer (up to nine months in the freezer), making it easier to always have them ready to eat. Frozen berries make a great base for a smoothie and there’s no need to thaw them. Once thawed, eat them straight up or add to some vanilla yogurt with chopped nuts. Or liven up your hot or cold cereal with a big handful. You can also bake berries with a nutty topping of oatmeal, honey, and chopped almonds for a sweet treat after a long weekend run.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonols that can boost heart health. In one study, a group of soccer players had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels, and less artery-clogging LDL

cholesterol after just two weeks of eating chocolate daily. Other research suggests that the chocolate flavonols ease inflammation and helpprevent blood substances from becoming sticky, which lowers the risk of potential blood clots. Dark chocolate (the darker the better) generally contains more flavonols than milk chocolate. Also, the way the cocoa beans are processed can influence the potency of the flavonols.

Low-fat Yogurt

Besides being a good source of protein and calcium (one cup provides 13 grams of protein and 40 percent of the DV for calcium), low-fat yogurt with live cultures provides the healthy bacteria your digestive tract needs to function optimally. This good bacteria may also have anti-inflammatory powers that can offer some relief to arthritis suffers. Just look for the live-culture symbol on the yogurt carton.

source: runnersworld.com

hope your week is going well!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 BostonRunner October 13, 2010 at 9:19 am

I won’t lie.. I’ve been checking back for this post haha : )
Very informative! I thinks stir-fry might be next on my list to try!

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