Running is a great form of exercise but can be very tough on the body, particularly the knees and feet. Therefore, it is very important to take care for a runner to take care of their body to ensure that they can run to their full potential. With all of the technology available in terms of shoes, braces and creams to help to deal with these injuries, the most important factor to maintaining good health, diet, is often overlooked. This article will provide some tips to help runners understand the art of eating right to run better.
Most athletes know to avoid processed foods because they lead to weight gain. What most people do not realize is the negative effects that those types of foods have on the joints in the body. Processed foods, especially those with flour, convert to glucose in the body, which slows down the body’s processes. This leads to a decrease in pace of blood flow throughout the body. This decrease leads to strains the joints and leads to injury. Bottom line: avoid processed foods!
TIP: Avoid all sugared/processed foods for one week. Then eat a ripe apple. The natural sugars will taste amazing.
Foods To Eat
A runner’s diet should consist of almost all natural foods. Lean proteins (chicken breasts, turkey and fish), fruits/vegetables and whole nuts (almonds, walnuts and cashews – all raw) are the best choices. The more leafy vegetables the runner can take in the better as they provide fiber and keep the body’s natural systems working the best.
TIP: Many of us eat out 2 meals a day, therefore it is important to make the right food choice at the restaurant or food center. Smart runners track everything they eat for a week and review. Everyone should give this a try.
Drink a lot of water and green tea. Those are the only things that runners should drink. A lot of sports-drinks, sodas and unnatural fruit juices are all loaded with sugar and they actually hurt a runner’s performance in the long term. Water helps replace fluids lost during training and flushes out any toxins taken in from poor eating choices.
TIP: Pay attention to the colour of your urine. Determine your hydration needs as our sweat rates vary.
Fasting for short periods is a great way to flush out the body and make the runner feel great. There are different types of fasts but the best option for runners is to take a day from sunup to sundown and ingest only water and vitamins. The effect on the body is the same as rebooting a computer: when it comes back up, the computer runs as it was intended, at the right speed and reaction time. The same is true for a runner.
TIP: Fast during a lull in the training cycle and see how it goes. Record the results in a training notebook.
It takes discipline to eat like this but the results are worth it. Avoiding processed foods and eating natural, whole foods instead make the body feel great. Drinking plenty of water flushes out and purifies the system. Occasional fasts are a magic elixir of refreshing for the body. Give these tips a try.