Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Power Foods for Runners

Many foods are known to be good for us, but depending on what we are doing, certain foods can be especially beneficial. Runners, especially marathon runners, test themselves physically, and benefit greatly from eating certain foods that allow their bodies to be as resilient as possible when dealing with the stress of pushing themselves continually forward. Other athletes and non-athletes require certain nutrients to help their bodies be resilient as well, but marathon runners especially benefit from a robust diet. If they don’t receive enough nutrients, their endurance will suffer and they will not be as successful in their running endeavors. In this article, we will teach you the special foods that you must have in order to obtain the nutrients you need to keep your body at optimum health to allow for peak performance. Here are a few power foods to help runners maintain their health and reach their goals.

1. Lean protein: Runners need the lean protein in high quality red meat, chicken, fish and even tofu to help them maintain the correct muscles and combat fat. In addition, such proteins, like red meat also include much needed iron that will help marathon runners avoid fatigue. Lastly, with quality lean meats, one won’t have to worry about artery clogging fat.

2. Nuts and Peanut Butter: Either one is a great snack food for runners. They are loaded in protein, which is great for snack-food, since you won’t crash like you would with a snack loaded in carbohydrates. Another option is almond butter which is also quite delicious as well.

3. Fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamin C (Citrus fruits, Berries, Broccoli): The Vitamins contained in these fruits and vegetables not only help your body maintain peak performance, they also offer an immune boost and help your body repair itself. The repair function is especially helpful since overexerting your muscles can often lead to tiny tears in the fibers.

4. Bananas: Nice as an after-run snack, bananas are loaded with potassium, which can fend off those nasty leg cramps to keep you running at optimal performance. In addition, bananas provide energy too. In addition, they simply taste great - sweet and deliciously satisfying.

5. Dairy products: You might have enough muscle to run, but you also need to keep up with your bones as well. Having enough dairy in your diet gives you an extra boost of calcium to keep your bones healthy.

Photo: Suat Eman

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