You are What You Eat!
The goodness and nourishment that we derive from foods that we consume indeed builds our overall structure, our immunity, our muscle growth, the health of our skin and hair etc.
Our body is continuously evolving and constantly repairing, healing, and rebuilding itself. So, every day, the body works towards building new cells, healing injuries, supplying vital organs with essential nutrients etc.
Foods Runners Should Eat
To perform all these life-enriching functions, the body needs a daily dose of healthy supplements that get essentially supplied basis the diet that we consume.
The importance of a well-nourished diet becomes even more critical when the body undergoes rigorous wear and tear. Thus, sportsmen, runners, and people who are engaged in strenuous physical endeavors need to be warier of what they consume and specifically what they should be avoiding. They must consume foods like bananas, oats, broccoli and more.
But first, they should know which foods to avoid!
Foods Runners Should Avoid
- Sugary Sodas
Sugary sodas have the tendency to instantly satiate you but eventually cause dehydration and elevated sugar cravings. They are also tough to digest and interfere with your energy levels, so it’s best to avoid them as much as you can as they are the worst foods for runners!
- Frozen Meals
In today’s time-pressed lifestyle, it’s very easy to fall prey to the tempting option of frozen foods. These are not only convenient but only reasonably light on the pocket. Pick up a wrong packet and you have given a grand welcome to humungous amounts of calories, sodium, and fats. To prevent yourself from falling into this trap, its best to check the labels carefully and especially the serving size of these packets.
Also, if you can, do skip the frozen meals altogether as they feature on the list of foods runners should never eat!
- Dairy products
Many runners experience stomach pain during the initial days of their running. Gastrointestinal experts suggest that this is primarily because they are lactose intolerant. Such runners find it difficult to digest dairy products such as milk, cheese etc. And for many runners, they become aware of this intolerance condition only after they start running. Fortunately, for such runners, there are alternative products available in the market such as almond milk, soy etc.
A highly enduring and difficult run completed successfully may call for celebrations, but the celebrations should not take the form of a pint of beer. The biggest reasons why this is a ‘strict-no’ is because beer is diuretic – it leads to dehydration which ultimately results in muscle cramps and fatigue. The alcoholic content of the beer also affects the body’s ability to regulate its temperature basis the temperature in the surroundings.
- Energy Drinks
If you are planning to go for a long run, avoid the consumption of energy drinks. Most energy drinks are loaded with sugars and some even contain caffeine which can create an urgency to urinate. Excessive caffeine consumption also causes the heart rate to pump up and augments the runner’s stress levels. Therefore, it’s always better to keep yourself light as you gear up for a big run and ensure that you are adequately hydrated through regular consumption of water.
- Oily and Fatty food items
Fats, no doubt, hold a vital place on the food platter but they have a tendency to sit in the stomach and take a long time to digest. These food items also tend to make you sluggish, as the body has to start working hard to digest them. Thus, items like cheese, butter should be best avoided before a run, as they tend to make you feel uncomfortable.
- Spicy food
While spicy food is good to up your metabolism, it’s not a great idea when you are gearing up for a long run. Spicy food can interfere with the gastrointestinal system of our body and can even cause heartburns.
- Foods that are High on Fiber and Carbohydrates
Though foods that are rich in fiber are great for health, they also land up creating gas in the intestinal tract. This can result in bloating and can make running cumbersome. Therefore, rather than having these food items before the run reserve them for an after-run meal because the fiber content in these food items will help to keep your bowel movements healthy, reduce the cholesterol levels and keep a tab on your blood sugar levels too.
Similarly, foods that are high on carbohydrates are equally hard to digest and should be the foods runners must avoid!
- Substitutes of Butter
When you need to pack a snack of toast for yourself, its best to use the real butter rather than opting for butter substitutes. Butter substitutes are high on hydrogenated oils which can affect the heart. Thus, it is better to opt for natural sources such as nuts, avocados, coconut oils etc. These help you feel fuller faster and their unsaturated fats help to maintain good heart health too.
While nuts – both the salted and unsalted versions are great for runners, in fact, the salted ones are the best bet since runners tend to lose a lot of salt in their sweat, its best to consume these in moderation. Nuts are loaded with calories and can have a huge impact on your waistline. Similarly, nuts, the ones that are roasted in oil or are sugar-coated are also a strict No!
- Cream-based Soups
Considering it’s the winter season, soups are a great healthy choice too. These not only keep you warm but also fill you up in the healthiest of ways. However, it’s best to limit yourself to any version of the soup which is a cream-of-anything. Rather indulge in healthy servings of broth-based soups of sprouts, spinach, tomatoes etc.
- Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose cannot afford to find a place on your dining table if you are an avid runner. They cause dehydration, increased sugar cravings, and also result in the body weight to shoot up.
The food that you consume should act as a fuel to support your running goals. Thus, eating the right kind and right quantity of food items will not only boost your performance levels but also equip your body to fight injuries better. So next time you go grocery shopping, keep this list in mind and be wary of the items that you should add to your shopping cart.