A runner’s diet is an essential part of ongoing training and upkeep in order to promote health, stamina and strength necessary to continue peak performance. While some may choose to steer clear of organic meals, runners are among the many that understand how delicious organic foods can be when prepared in some great-tasting recipes. Here, I break down the best health-boosting organic foods for runners.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables play a two-part role in the healthy lifestyle of a runner: They assist in preparing the body for running and help replenish essential vitamins after a strenuous workout. Some types of organic vegetables and fruits stand out in particular, whether you’re a novice or professional.
Bananas take the top spot for healthy fruits, as they’re not only high in potassium but also fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. In addition, bananas can assist in balancing electrolytes, acting as a natural sports drink. Some other great ways to add bananas to your daily diet include fruit-packed smoothies or following simple recipes for treats such as this organic banana ice cream recipe.
Leafy greens, such as kale and sweet potatoes, rank high among runners for their health benefits. Salad greens replenish fiber, calcium and vitamins A and C. Kale in particular also contains vitamin K, antioxidants and folate, which promotes good circulation. There are so many organic ways to prepare delicious meals using sweet potatoes, from pies to fries, and the health benefits for runners are tremendous. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, potassium and antioxidants. They’re also packed with good carbohydrates. Keep the skins on for the best nutritional benefits.
While carbohydrates often get a bad name among dieters, it’s not carbohydrates in general that are part of an unhealthy diet. Rather, it’s important to distinguish the good from the bad. While empty carbohydrates found in junk food do nothing for the body, carb loading with good foods is popular among runners. Whole grains such as quinoa and black rice are excellent choices in meals, but it’s recommended that runners eat these complex carbohydrates after a run so as not to place too much strain on their digestive system while exercising. Quinoa specifically is a popular choice among vegetarian runners and contains nine amino acids. Prepare black rice as either the popular sticky black rice dish or the Malaysian dessert pulut hitam.
Protein is the building block of muscles. Because running can easily break down the essential tools of the body, protein is an important part of a runner’s diet. Lean meats, such as lean beef, are best, but your protein list should also include eggs and nuts for better flavor and more choices. When choosing organic foods, runners should assure no antibiotics or other unnatural processes were done to the animals or to the finished products. Vegetarian runners can still enjoy protein via non-meat sources, such as vitamin-packed lentils. Another great source of protein is salmon, which provides the runner with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Salmon also keeps bones healthy and provide an energy boost whenever needed.
Lene has been running since she was 12. Her passion is on helping runners get the best nutrition from organic diet in all levels of training. With a fellow runner, she now works on her website, Running Info Guide.