If you are a runner or perform other strenuous physical activities, food needs to do much more than keep hunger at bay. What you eat must provide everything you need to have powerful bones and muscles that you work so hard during your running sessions.
Here are 7 foods that not only keep you healthy, but they can also improve your running performance and promote faster recovery after running workouts.
Running is a high-impact physical activity which can cause micro-tears in your muscles making you feel sore after a hard run. Berries are a great post-workout snack for runners, since they’re rich in antioxidants and have lots of potassium and vitamin C which support your body’s recovery process after running.
Besides an immediate energy boost before a run, bananas offer so many more benefits. Their high potassium levels regulate your blood pressure and reduce muscle cramping. They’re also easy to digest so they’re perfect as a snack before your running session.
Popeye’s favorite food is full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients plus it has a detoxifying effect. Rich in iron and calcium, spinach is one of the best food choices to keep your bones strong and healthy, which will make you a better runner if you eat it regularly.
Yogurt, kefir and other fermented milk products contain live, active cultures that support digestion but they’re also rich in protein which is essential for muscle recovery.
Yogurt is also a great source of calcium, needed on top of physical activities such as running and weight-lifting to support bone density.
Runners need regular protein intake and lean beef is certainly one of the best options to get it. Beef also has significant amounts of iron an essential mineral which helps metabolize proteins and plays an important role in the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
If you’re a vegetarian, worry not, since there are plenty of iron-rich vegetables and legumes such as green leafy vegetables, beans and peas.
Salmon and other types of fish provide you with essential omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and support post-workout recovery. Of course, salmon also gives you a good dose of protein so make sure to eat it at least once a week to reap the benefits.
Almonds and other nuts include healthy fats and protein that provide a good long-lasting dose of energy, keeping you full for longer. Almonds also reduce the risk of diabetes as they help regulate blood sugar levels.