Running is a joy, but getting medals on that hanger burns up a lot of energy and that energy needs to be replaced. That means maintaining a healthy diet that helps you run easily and safely. Good nutrition bolsters endurance and protects you against injury. Here are seven of the best foods for you if you love to run:
This green, leafy vegetable is an amazing source of nutrition. It's abundant in the antioxidants vitamin A and phytonutrients. An antioxidant protects your cells from free radical damage. Kale has iron, which helps produce the red blood cells that carry much needed oxygen around your body, which will improve your stamina. It is also rich in calcium, which supports the health of your bones and teeth and helps keep your blood pressure low. Kale also has anti-inflammatory substances. The tiny spots of damage your body undergoes when playing a sport does set up an inflammatory response, but kale’s anti-inflammatory nutrients keep inflammation from becoming chronic and dangerous.
Berries, especially cherries and blueberries, are champions when it comes to levels of antioxidants. Scientific research has found that athletes who ate cherries reduced the loss of their muscle strength and eased the discomfort of sore muscles more than athletes who didn’t eat cherries. Berries are also high in vitamin C, another antioxidant that's responsible for helping your body create collagen. Collagen is a type of connective tissue that helps keep your joints in good shape as they work during your run.
This food is famous for its levels of potassium. Potassium is crucial for you because it helps your body maintain a steady heartbeat and helps your muscles to contract normally. It can also lower your blood pressure. People who are potassium deficient also lose calcium and retain sodium.
Like kale, broccoli is a food full of vitamin C, phytonutrients and fiber. Fiber helps delay how fast glucose gets into the blood and helps lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol that sticks to the walls of your arteries and can contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Lean beef is a good source of protein. Protein is found in every cell of your body and helps to both build and repair your muscles, bones and blood vessels.
Wild salmon has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are substances that support the suppleness of your blood vessels. This allows your blood to circulate easily, and deliver oxygen to your cells.
Low-calorie tomatoes help your body store muscle glycogen, which is the form of glucose your body stores for energy for running and other activities.