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9 Essential Foods For Optimal Performance

A good race depends on more than just training. To improve speed and performance you also have to consider what you put into your body. Eating the right foods at the right time can also improve your running performance. In addition, you will reduce the risk of injury and illness. Every runner should include the following foods in their diet:

1. Bananas

If you need a carbohydrate snack to fill you up before an afternoon run, banana is what you are looking for. This fruit contains a healthy dose of potassium (about 400 mg). It is particularly important for long distance runs or for high temperatures , when you can sweat a lot and lose important minerals. Potassium (like other minerals such as sodium, magnesium or chloride) compensates for this loss and lowers the level of blood pressure.

2. Oats

Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast before going for a run. It provides you with a lot of carbohydrates (one serving contains 25 g) and is high in fiber. Also, oats have a low glycemic index. This means that it will make your sugar levels rise little by little, it will provide you with energy for longer and it will keep you more satiated. Did you know that a healthy adult should get 50% of their energy from carbohydrates?

3. Peanut Butter

But be careful, it has to be a butter without additives such as sugar, salt or oil. If it is adequate, it is a good source of vitamin E, which is one of the most effective antioxidants. Although it is true that peanuts contain a lot of fat (and therefore are not low in calories at all), it is mainly monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fats can help you lower blood cholesterol levels . In addition, they are important for strengthening the immune system, speeding up recovery after training, and preventing injuries. Peanut butter also contains a good amount of protein that helps the muscles grow, which is why it is essential for runners. Taste it by spreading it on whole wheat toast or with banana. It is tremendous! It also makes a great snack with apple chunks .

4. Broccoli

These green saplings are full of vitamin C, which is why it is considered one of the best foods for runners. According to some studies, broccoli reduces (or even prevents) the risk of soreness after a hard workout . It is also a good source of calcium, folate, and vitamin K, which strengthens bones. Our tip: Broccoli tastes great with tofu, salmon, or beef.

5. Natural Yogurt

Yogurt is a perfect combination of carbohydrates and proteins. It has a biological value of almost 85%, which means that it contains a high percentage of essential amino acids (which cannot be synthesized by the body and have to be obtained from food). Reasonable consumption after a run can speed recovery and protect muscles. The calcium it contains also helps strengthen bones. An added benefit of yogurt is that it contains live lactic acid bacteria (probiotics). Probiotics help you stimulate the intestinal flora and improve the immune system . ( 4 ) This is important to everyone, not just runners!

6. Dark Chocolate

If you are faithful to running, you can allow yourself a little whim from time to time. The black chocolate (with at the least 70% cocoa) is the perfect temptation because you will not feel bad after eating it . It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels . In addition, the flavanols (secondary metabolites) it contains help reduce inflammation.

7. Whole Wheat Pasta

It is not a coincidence that people enjoy a pasta feast before a marathon . These kinds of events not only get you psyched for the next day’s race, but with this high-carb meal you also fill up your glycogen stores. Glycogen stores provide you with the energy you need during a marathon. When shopping for pasta (or bread), be sure to choose the whole grain variety. This keeps you on a full stomach for longer and contains B vitamins (like bananas). These vitamins are essential to increase muscle massand they can improve performance and endurance. You can enjoy a good plate of pasta with tuna and tomato sauce, a healthier version than carbonara for example. It doesn’t leave you feeling heavy, but it will keep you full of energy.

8. Coffee

Studies have shown that a cup of coffee can give you a boost when it comes to high intensity interval training . The caffeine it contains helps you run faster so you can cover your training distance in less time. The important thing is that you drink coffee alone, without milk or sugar. Many people still think that coffee makes you dehydrated, but it is not true. It does have a diuretic effect, so you will go to the bathroom a little more than normal. So if you think about it it’s not a very good idea to run a marathon.

9. Potatoes

Potatoes, like bananas, are a valuable source of potassium, so they are a staple of a runner’s diet. Its caloric content is also worth mentioning. For example, 100 g of potatoes has two-thirds fewer calories than 100 g of rice. If you combine them with chicken, salmon or fried eggs, you will have a healthy, tasty and good dish to recover from. Also, did you know that only one large sweet potato can contain all the vitamin A you need in one day? This vitamin works as an antioxidant, improves eyesight, strengthens bones, and improves the immune system .

Conclusion: The Perfect Foods

So you see that a runner’s diet must be very varied and balanced. What you eat, when you eat it and how often you eat it has to respond to your personal goals. Do you need more advice? Find out which are the best foods for before running .

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