The Best Foods for Runners
By Sara Butler
Running is a great aerobic activity and an excellent way to maintain your heart health as well as a healthy weight. But running is only one part of the health equation because how you refuel your body after your run really determines if you’re getting all the benefits from it. Here are some foods runners and joggers want to make sure they’re getting enough of in their diet to reap all the rewards.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and those are important to help keep your cardiovascular system working at its very best. Omega-3 fatty acids help to keep the blood vessels elastic, which is important when running to help keep the oxygen flowing freely to your muscles. Eat salmon after your workout to help improve your overall fitness, up to three times per week if your efficient little heart desires it.
Kale has a reputation as a superfood, but that’s for a good reason -- it’s really good for you! Adding kale to your meals provides your body with essential minerals and vitamins your body needs to stay healthy as you put a lot of demands on it with your training. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties lower the risk of sore knees after a particularly grueling training session or race. All vegetables are healthy, but kale is certainly worth the hype.
There’s a reason you see so many bananas at the finish line after a race. Their high levels of carbohydrates help replenish the glycogen your muscles used up and the magnesium in the banana also helps to keep your muscles healthy and cramp-free. Plus, one banana goes a long way to keep you full and satisfied.
You’ve probably had your fair share of pasta before a race or a long run since it helps to fuel up those muscles with glycogen. There’s no reason to stop it. While binging on carbohydrates in the days leading up to a race isn’t something many experts still recommend, adding pasta (or whole wheat pasta) with some tomato sauce in the days leading up to it is still a good idea.
If you need more than a banana to fuel your next long run, then go for some green tea. It has low caffeine and it’s full of important antioxidants to help give your metabolism a boost and improve your overall health. A cup enjoyed about 30 minutes before you get going could just be a game-changer!
Remember, in order to stay healthy you need to fuel your body right after you're done with your run!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy Springs, Ga.