All runners have their things they believe that can’t do without. Some have prerace carb meals, a certain pair of socks, or even I only use kind of meal replacement after each workout. How much do we think about food that has to be in our diet? Food is what gives our bodies nutrients to heal itself and improve our performance.
Every aspect of your body from muscles, tendons, and bones require nutrition to repair itself and keep it healthy. Every day that you exercise you are slightly injuring yourself, and it is with a proper nutrition program that your body repairs itself and improve. Poor nutrition can lead to injuries and lack of seeing your goals no matter how hard you work. Below is a list of energy foods that every runner, cardio athlete, or exercise enthusiast needs to have in their diet. If you want to run faster 5k races, you add them starting today.
Energy and Healing Food Must Haves
Red Bell Pepper
Red bell pepper delivers vitamin C in high concentration. One pepper offers 380 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, which is good since vitamin C especially for people that exercise is needed in higher amounts. The RDA allowances are just enough vitamin C to prevent disease. Vitamin C is crucial in repairing connective tissue, cartilage, and the formation of collagen. You want at least 5 servings a day of vitamin C so you probably won’t have that many red peppers everyday so cantaloupe, oranges, and papaya make great additions.
Salmon is loaded with the healthy fat omega 3, and other essential proteins. Your body need protein to rebuild muscle tissue, tendons, and ligaments which are damaged with exercise and running. As your body needs protein in small amounts 5 times a day, it is important to add low fat healthy choices like salmon. Omega 3 fatty acids work within your body as a natural anti-inflammatory which is paramount after a hard workout. You probably won’t eat fish for every meal though working in fish at least 3 times a week will have good health benefits.
Have you found that sometimes you get sick after a hard workout or training session? Carrots deliver vitamin A which supports white blood cell production our body’s natural defense mechanism. Baby carrots are easy to take anywhere and make an easy snack addition. Vitamin A also works to repair the microtears caused during exercise. Spinach and sweet potatoes make good choices as well.
One important nutrient to help your body heal is zinc. Zinc is common in red meat which contains high amounts of fat. Breakfast cereals are a good way to get zinc into your daily diet. Also, pick cereals fortified in other vitamins and minerals. Cereals are one of your best ways to get lots of vitamins and minerals into your system. Pumpkin seeds are another good source of zinc.
The more energy you burn the more free radicals are created as a by-product. Almonds are full of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E. Almonds also contain healthy fats to support proper cell production. Avocados are another great source of vitamin E and healthy fats, and I like to add them to my salads.