Important Running Nutrition Tips
To Help Fuel Your Run
Running nutrition, here are some tips that are important to all runners, but especially to running moms.
The most well known source of calcium is dairy products. However if you are lactose intolerant, broccoli is a great source of calcium. So are other dark-green leafy vegetables and they are also provide fiber and lots of other great nutrients.
Another good source of calcium is some kinds of fish such as salmon and sardines. And fish oil is also very good for your heart and for maintaining proper cholesterol. Just try not to get fish that is high in mercury, especially if you are pregnant or nursing. The best kinds of salmon are the Alaskan, wild salmon because they are low in mercury but they are not grown in an unhealthy, dirty environment as some farm-raised salmon are.
Vitamin D is an important source of running nutrition. It helps absorb calcium, and it helps provide energy and motivation. In the summer, you probably get Vitamin D from the sun when you are running. However, in the winter you might need to take a supplement.
The best source of iron is liver. However, if like me you are unable to stomach liver, other ways for getting iron are red meat and spinach. My favorite way to get iron is to go to a New York steak house such as Ruth Chris or Peter Luger in Brooklyn and order a sizzling steak and a side order of creamed spinach.
This would be a better meal for after a run rather than before a run. ;-)
Iron is an especially important source of running nutrition if you are pregnant, nursing, anemic or menstruating.
This running nutrition is important before and during your run. One great and affordable source of potassium is bananas. Also many snacks made especially for runners such as energy gels, found in your local running store, are a great source of potassium and sodium.
If you find yourself weak and hitting the infamous wall, this is likely due to a shortage of potassium or sodium.
For the week leading up, right before and during a long run, you want to make sure you have enough salt intake. The marathons often have packets of salt available. My favorite way of getting salt right before and during a marathon or other long race is pretzels. And there a nice break from all that gu. Some lady, God bless her heart, was giving out pretzels during the NYC marathon - best pretzels I ever ate.
Ever have a headache from running in the heat and no matter how much water you drink, it doesn't seem to help? This is probably because you are sweating out electrolytes and they need to be replenished.
You can get electrolytes from many sports drinks and other snacks made for runners such as energy gel or Nuun (just check the back to see if they listed on the nutrition label). You can also take electrolytes in tablet form.
A well known source of running nutrition is carbohydrates. However, no need to get carried away on potatoes, white bread and white rice. These things have more calories than nutrients in them anyway. But a good healthy carbohydrate will help fuel your run.
You may have heard of the famous pasta party given the night before most marathons. I didn't find the food as good as the inspiring messages of people running who had endured many more trials and tribulations than I could ever imagine.
Pasta is actually a good source of carbohydrates, but I recommend the whole wheat kind. I was actually surprised the first time I tasted it by how good it was.
It is also important to increase your carbohydrate intake in the week leading up to the big run. Good healthy carbohydrates are sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, bread or beans, if you can stomach them.
Many companies catering to sports and running nutrients such as Gatorade or Power Bar have specific carbohydrate drinks and bars to take the morning of a race as well as protein meals and snacks to take after the race. But be careful not to try anything new on the day of a big race. Better to try it during your training so if it doesn't agree with you, you don't find out in the middle of a marathon that you spent months and miles training for.
It is important to have plenty of protein to help rebuild your muscle after your runs or after any other type of workout. Here are some ideas for meals high in protein.