Well, my friends, there can be a multitude of factors. And one of those factors could be your eating habits. Knowing what to eat before and after running is essential for boosting your performance. How else can your body repair itself and grow? So choose your food wisely starting with the list below.
Food for General Performance
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy, and runners need energy to help them in their running. That is why some sports nutritionists recommend runners to consume carbohydrates equivalent to 60% of their daily calories.
Studies have shown that carbohydrates are used to fuel your body during general physical training. The rest of the carbohydrates are then stored in your muscles as glycogen, which is used later on during your race or when having a long run.
The following are some great sources for carbohydrates:
Quinoa A native product of Peru, this whole-grain product has complex carbs, little sugar, no gluten, and contains plant-based protein.
Brown rice It has fibre that makes you feel full and carbs that provides you with energy. It is advisable to eat this at least an hour before your run.
Old-fashioned oatmeal For long-lasting energy, choose to eat oatmeal a low-glycaemic, high-fibre index food.
Food for Strength
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D assist in boosting muscular strength; plus, it is also good for your heart. The latter is important for runners since cardiovascular strength is core in improving running performance. A great source of such nutrients can be found in wild salmon. Wild salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help make your blood vessels more elastic; it also improves your nervous system functioning.
Studies have shown that wild salmon is better able to provide these benefits because they contain more nutrients as compared to farmed salmon. Other benefits of eating wild salmon include improved handgrip strength and increased protection from heart strokes or cardiac arrests.
Knowing what to eat before and after running is essential for boosting your performance.
Food for Endurance
Believe it or not, coffee can aid in boosting your running performance. In fact, a study conducted by Japanese researchers found out that drinking coffee an hour before one's workout significantly decreased the rate of perceived exertion in runners. This means that you can do more training without experiencing fatigue. Other studies have also shown that caffeine the main ingredient found in coffee is no longer associated with dehydration, as long as it is consumed in moderation. For runners who rightly worries about constant hydration, this is good news for you.
Other Foods to Consider
The following are more foods that you can consider incorporating into your diet. They help to boost running performance and at the same time, provide your body with the nutrition needed to survive long runs, regular workouts, and arduous training:
Cherries are antioxidant-rich fruits. Antioxidants provide several health benefits including the promotion of healthy blood vessels and the prevention of cancerous tumour growth. They are also found to help boost athletic performance. Cherry juice is known to minimise strength loss as well as prevent muscle soreness.
Peanut butter is a great post-workout food. It is high in protein and packed with complex carbohydrates for improving muscular strength and endurance
Skim milk A glass of skim milk is also one of the best post-exercise foods. As it contains protein and fast-acting carbohydrates, skim milk helps in faster muscle recovery.
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