The best foods for runners
Whether you're a marathoner or one who prefers to hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day, there's no denying that running is a taxing exercise. Along with stretching and warming up, what you eat can play a significant role in how much energy you have once you start your run, and according to Fitness magazine, there are several foods in particular that are well-suited for runners.
This popular fruit has seemingly endless health benefits. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out, not only are bananas great sources of potassium, but they are also a healthy choice when it comes to offering carbohydrates, which play a big role in providing energy to runners and other athletes.
"Runners need quality foods that provide a 'spark plug' for their energy," nutrition expert Nancy Clark told the magazine.
Energy is only one aspect to take into consideration when you're crafting a runner-friendly diet. You should also focus on helping your body recover from the wear and tear that the sport puts on your bones, joints and muscles. According to Fitness, berries are ideal if you're looking to mitigate the soreness from a long run because they are full of vitamin C and potassium, two nutrients that help heal muscles.
Berries are also a smart choice for other reasons. In fact, according to WebMD, berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any foods. These powerful compounds have proven to lower the risk of a number of health conditions ranging from cancer and heart disease to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Of the many benefits associated with running, improving bone density is one of the most important. However, experts often stress that runners do not get enough calcium to reap all the bone-health benefits from jogging. According to Fitness, low-fat yogurt is one of the best ways to add calcium to your diet. The popular source of calcium also offers plenty of protein, which plays a vital role in recovering from a long run.
Like other runner-friendly foods, yogurt pays dividends in other areas. Yogurt may also play a role in helping you maintain a healthy blood pressure thanks to its levels of magnesium and potassium, Health.com reports.