The need to fuel for endurance sports with healthy foods.
I absolutely love going out for a long run. It can be alone or with a group of friends, on the trails, on the road or in the mountains. If you are like me as the miles add up your energy level plummets if you are not properly nourished before you lace up your running shoes. I am typically good for about 45-50 minutes and then if I don’t start thinking about refueling I am headed for the dreaded bonk. I can specifically remember a long trail run in the rain with my friends where I bonked and it was miserable. I knew I was doomed to crash even before the run started because I hadn’t eaten enough prior to my run, the run lasted longer than we had plan and I did not bring any nourishment with me on the trail. It was a recipe for disaster.
What I have learned as I have became a more seasoned (and yes, that’s a better way of saying older.) athlete is that not only does fueling matter during a workout but fueling your body with healthy foods to give you energy during endurance sports is necessary too. Healthy balanced nutrition for athletes from REAL food is becoming more of the norm in endurance sports racing. Athletes are demanding healthier options for fueling and more information is becoming readily available about the healthy foods that are best for keeping your body running like a well-oiled machine during endurance sports.
Healthy Foods For Fueling Endurance Sports
Is there a way to keep your energy up by doing a better job of pre-fueling before a workout? What foods are ideal giving you great sustained energy for your long run?
Here are some ideas to try:
- Brown Rice–Brown rice is high in manganese. Manganese helps your body produce energy from carbohydrates and protein.
- Almonds–Almonds are full of magnesium which also converts carbohydrates to energy.
- Honey–Add this to oatmeal or on your bagel. Honey is low on the glycemic index which means it will not cause a sugar “crash.” Many endurance athletes use honey as a natural energy “gel” as well during hard exercise and long runs.
- Sweet Potatoes–Sweet Potatoes are a high carbohydrate option that also contain beneficial Vitamins A and C.
- Chia Seeds–Chia Seeds are high in protein, fiber, carbohydrates as well as anti-oxidants. This is often considered to be a Superfood.
- Bananas–Present at every race, you may never want to eat another banana again but bananas are a great option because they are,” Loaded with potassium and vitamin B6, bananas help maintain low blood sugar, regulate digestion and re-stock your body with lost electrolytes after any sort of physical exertion. (SOURCE)”
- Organic Eggs–(You knew I would suggest eggs, right?) The best protein around! Eggs are a great source of essential amino acids and Omega-3’s. Eggs are easy to digest and provide sustained energy.
What REAL, healthy foods do you fuel with before you head out for training? Do you have any favorite recipes that you’d like to share?
*Disclaimer: I am not a Registered Dietician or Sports Nutritionist. I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Integrative Institute of Nutrition. Please consult a physician for specific dietary recommendations due to health concerns.
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