Endurance and energy are critical to the success of runners, especially for those who run long distance such as marathon or half-marathons. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just getting started, it’s important to know what foods to eat and which supplements to take so you can get the nutrition you need.
Supplements like our L-Arginine Nitric Oxide Booster work to increase energy and stamina, burn fat and help with faster muscle recovery. Nitric oxide is a molecule that is produced naturally by your body and helps to relax the inner muscles of your blood vessels so your blood can flow more freely allowing for faster muscle recovery. L-Arginine are amino acids in your body that produce nitric oxide directly. When taken with energy-boosting foods such as yogurt, peanut butter, broccoli or quinoa, you get a double-punch of energy without the need to drink caffeine or energy drinks.
Whether you are new to running or just a casual runner, you need a diet high in healthy carbohydrates with natural hydration. Below is a list of 7 energy boosting foods that can help you to get the most from your run.
Broccoli is full of vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce or even prevent muscle soreness — critical if you want your run to last longer and be more enjoyable. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K, folic acid and calcium, all of which help to strengthen bones and prevent injuries, especially in those who are older. Broccoli also contains quercetin, which helps to reduce muscle inflammation.
Red peppers are an excellent source of vitamins C, A and B6, all of which help to create hemoglobin that carries oxygen in red blood cells to muscle tissue. Red peppers are great for grilling and are a delicious addition to salads or served just on their own. They are about 90 percent water and have more vitamin C than an orange, which can keep you hydrated longer than if you were to consume just water.
While many people are now following a gluten-free or Keto diet due to Celiac disease or just for personal preference, it’s important not to leave out whole grains from your diet entirely. This is especially important if you are a runner or practice cardio athletics of any kind. Carbohydrates are the fuel for your running gas tank and whole grains are some of the healthiest sources of carbs. Foods that contain whole wheat, quinoa, oats, sorghum (which is drought-resistant and gluten-free and high in iron) are all excellent for runners.
Touted as a superfood, Acai berries, sourced from the acai palm tree in Central and South America, have been shown to improve heart health. Acai bowls have become increasingly popular in recent years and are a favorite among the running set, as Acai bowls typically contain a mixture of superfood ingredients such as bananas, strawberries, mango and granola.
Rich in antioxidants and packed with nutrients and caffeine, dark chocolate is not only delicious, but a favorite among runners because you can get a quick energy boost and still get the nutrients your body needs before, during or after a run. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are plant chemicals that have been shown to aid in weight loss and prevent cancer. In fact, Cacao is packed with more antioxidants than red wine or green tea.
Greek yogurt is packed with extra protein, which is great to eat after a long run to replenish and rebuild muscle. Be sure and get Greek yogurt as opposed to regular yogurt because it tends to have more protein, and make sure that it doesn’t contain added sugars, which can be counterproductive to your fitness goals. Plain yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream and is excellent for blending up smoothies and shakes.
For being so small, these seeds pack a powerful punch of nutrients. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, fiber, calcium, protein and quality carbs. You can put them in water and drink them or sprinkle them on food before or after a run. It’s also a good idea to bring a pack of them along if you are going for a long run so you can get an added energy boost midway.
These are just a few superfoods that we recommend for runners, but of course there are a lot more to choose from based on your personal nutrition needs and goals. Be sure also to pay attention to the amount you consume by always checking labels and doing your own research.