For runners to be at their best, their efforts cannot just be focused on training. As a runner, your diet is an equally important part of your fitness regimen. The proper diet provides energy and helps the body recover, allowing you to perform at your highest levels. While trying to plan the perfect diet, there are certain foods to keep an eye on. Here are 5 foods that can help improve your performance and your overall health.
After a long run, your leg muscles are in need of protein to promote recovery. Incorporating eggs into your diet can substantially increase your protein intake. One large egg contains about 6g of protein, or ten percent of your daily need. One egg can give you about 30 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, which is vital for healthy bones. Eggs are an interesting food in that all the protein is in the egg white, while the fat, the vitamins and minerals are found in the yolk. To solve this, consider eating just the egg whites if you eat eggs regularly. This will limit your fat and cholesterol intake. Then try to incorporate the whole egg into your diet occasionally to obtain the vitamins and minerals that are found in the egg yolk.
Black beans, as well as other legumes, also contain high amounts of protein. One cup of black beans has about 30 percent of your daily value of protein. What makes legumes a good source of protein is that they do not have the fat that's found in meat products. Additionally, the carbohydrates in black beans are released slowly into the body. This will help control blood sugar while providing a steady flow of energy throughout your workout.
Whole Grain Bread
Carbohydrates the body’s main source of energy. For people with extensive fitness regimens who require excessive energy, carbohydrates are extremely important. However, not all carbs are created equally. A natural grain contains three parts: the bran, germ and endosperm. The bran and germ are the most nutrient rich part of the grain, containing many vitamins and minerals. During the milling process, these two parts are removed, leaving a less nutritious product. Therefore, whole grains are the best option. Runners should aim to eat three to six servings of whole grains, which can easily be done considering one slice of bread is one serving.
Whole Grain Pasta
Pasta is a popular choice among runners, as it's packed with carbohydrates that refill your energy stores. Whole grain pasta will provide extra vitamins and minerals. Some pasta has added protein to help the body recover.
Berries contain compounds know as antioxidants, which help rid the body of free radicals. Free radicals are toxic byproducts of oxidation in the body. One of these antioxidants is anthocyanins. Aside from their effect on free radicals, anthocyanins can also aid also assist in post-run recovery and muscle repair.