If you are already a runner, then you will know how much blood sugars and diet can affect your performance. A lot of people say it is better to run in the morning before you eat, others find if they haven’t eaten something their blood sugar drops off and a quick 5k can feel more like 10. What we put in our body directs our fitness, mental health, performance and the benefit during the day, after we stop exercising. Let’s take a look at some of the best things you can add to your diet to improve your workout.
Runners need protein to help build and repair muscles so adding lots of protein rich ingredients to your diet is important. Replace potatoes and white rice with some of the current superfoods, such as the new ‘ancient’ grains. Freekeh and Quinoa are both high in protein and fiber and also have are low on the glycemic index so help regulate blood sugars. Better eaten after a run than before you will see an increase in your overall performance and notice your muscles recovering quicker, a great ingredient to have in store if you are preparing for your first marathon
Every good runner should appreciate the benefits of juicing. This is an excellent way of fuelling you before a run if you need a little energy boost. Packing up with lots of vegetables will deliver the essential nutrients you need to fuel your workout and to help balance your blood sugars however it is very low in calorie so you will burn off more than you have consumed. It just helps to get you through on the tough days. Plus you can take it with you instead of you usual water or isotonic drink. A great addition to your juice is Spirulina. Whilst it has a very distinctive taste and smell on its own, mixed with a juice it has an incredible 65% protein and is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids. It will also help to detox your colon meaning you will have a cleaner body and will find your energy levels increased.
All runners, regardless of fitness level should add a handful of almonds to their diet at least three to five times a week. Nuts are packed with vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that you are probably lacking in. There aren’t many good sources of vit E and Almonds are by far the best. Eating nuts several times per week helps to lower circulating cholesterol levels, especially LDL. It will decrease your risk of developing heart disease.
One thing a lot of runners have in common is a lack in manganese and copper. These minerals are crucial for healthy muscle function and so have a massive impact on your performance. Sweet potatoes are a good source of both of these minerals and also high in vitamin C, potassium, iron. So ditch your usual potato for a little bit of this powerful little spud.
Making a few small changes to your current diet can really affect your performance and have you smashing personal bests, so tweak it up a little and give yourself the edge on everyone else.