Eat Better to Run Better!

Fuelling your body in an effective way is essential if you participate in any kind of sport, and this is certainly true of running. If you do not nourish your body in the correct way then you might soon become frustrated with a lack of improvement when it comes to your endurance and speed. You will also notice that your energy levels become depleted even when you are not exercising as you are asking too much of your body without putting enough in! 

If you are training for a marathon, or if you are keen to improve your running ability for any number of other reasons, then taking the time to evaluate your diet could be incredibly beneficial. 

Aiming to include the following foods in your diet will not only be beneficial for your health in general, but could also help to improve your performance when it comes to running and other sports. It could also help to prevent running related injuries as your body is better equipped!

Nuts

Nuts are great for your all-round health for a variety of reasons, and they can also help you to reach your full running potential! There is something to be gained from each type of nut. For example, almonds are especially useful for balancing your blood sugar levels. This is because they are crammed full of healthy fats and protein. Cashew nuts are bursting with magnesium, which works to help protect the body against fatigue and soreness. Walnuts are full of Omega-3, which helps to combat inflammation in the body and also helps your body to recover faster following a workout. Additionally, Brazil nuts are known to contain high levels of selenium, which is incredibly useful for offsetting the free radical cell damage that can be experienced during high intensity exercise.

Chia Seeds

Studies have suggested that chia seeds are an effective tool for boosting performance when it comes to endurance sports. They are also a great source of Omega-3, which provides an additional nutritional boost. Many of the vitamins and minerals found within chia seeds are essential components of a runners diet, and including them regularly can go a long way to boosting performance.

Spirulina

Spirulina is widely available these days and is full of the nutrients that you need to keep your body healthy! This is essential to preserving and improving your stamina as you progress with your running training. Spirulina is also useful for boosting the immune system, aiding weight loss and combatting the existence of stress in the mind.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a fantastic source of protein, iron, B6 and fiber. Consuming it every day will go a long way to keeping your energy levels up, as well as satiating your hunger. Furthermore, quinoa is a slow-release carbohydrate. This means that the energy that it provides is used up slowly and gradually by the body, which is perfect for fuelling runs and aiding post-workout recovery.

Apples

Apples are an optimum choice for fighting inflammation in the body, which can often occur as a result of running. As you progress with your running practice you will naturally become stronger and healthier, and experience inflammation less. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is a great way to enhance this and will help to protect and boost your general health. Tomatoes, olive oil and green leafy vegetables are also amazing anti-inflammatory foods.

Ginger

Ginger is fantastic for alleviating pain and swelling in the body - both of which can occur as a result of running. Adding fresh ginger to your cooking is arguably the best way to maximise the health potential of ginger, but you can also opt for ginger herbal teas as a delicious and convenient alternative.

Peanut Butter

Eating peanut butter is a delicious way to help to boost your efforts when it comes to running. A relatively small amount can help you to feel fuller for longer, especially if consumed with other carbohydrates, such as bread. Peanut butter is also a fantastic source of healthy fat, protein and fiber. Similarly to quinoa, peanut butter will give you a slow-release of energy, which is perfect for keeping you going on the right track!

If you are serious about progressing with your running then it is absolutely essential that you make an effort to optimise your nutrition. Including all of the aforementioned foods in your diet is one of the best ways in which you can do this. The combination of all of the fantastic benefits of these foods can help to protect and energise your body in many different ways.

Remember, we all progress at different rates and it pays to be patient when you are trying to improve any aspect of your fitness and athletic performance. It is easy to become frustrated if you feel that you are not improving at your desired rate. However, with the right amount of dedication and knowledge there is no reason that you won't eventually accomplish your goals - even if your milestones are reached further apart than anticipated!

Resources

1) http://www.sleepeatrun.co.uk/10-nuts-that-will-supercharge-your-running

2) http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition/peanut-butter-a-great-runners-food