Why salads are important for runners?

17 Sep 2018 no comments adunit

Good nutrition is a major part of runners’ training and it should be ongoing just like your work-out leading up to the race.

Healthy snacking provides energy in the middle of the day while training helps to decrease in between hunger pangs and keep you from overeating at mealtime. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts are a great choice for healthy snacks.

Vegetables are calorie poor, nutrient dense and have very little sugar, whereas fruits are nutritional gold mines. They are filled with an abundance of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. A healthy dose of fruits helps to strengthen and heal the body. Runners can opt for salads as a snack on the day of running and as a meal on non-running days.

Running is a cardio exercise that increases muscle-cell oxygen demand and energy requirements. Muscles undergo increased wear and tear with rigorous exercise. Running increases oxygen uptake by the lungs that subsequently increases oxygenated blood flow to every cell and tissue of the body much fold, as per demand.

This increased oxygenation, unfortunately, also gives rise to local oxygen free-radicals that increase muscle inflammation, cell aging, and tissue damage. These oxygen free-radicals at moderate exercise levels are usually countered by the body’s own mechanism of antioxidant generation. However, rigorous exercises and runners need antioxidant supplementation from diet to help the body.

Many runners do strength training at least 3 days a week. It is therefore imperative that antioxidant, protein, and energy stores are replenished regularly, before and after running. Antioxidants are predominantly Vitamins A, C, E, polyphenols, and quercetin.

Research has found that non-diet chemical supplements are not useful in replenishing these antioxidant levels. Therefore, a nutritious diet rich in macro and micronutrients is essential for maintaining good health. Post running, ample protein and carbohydrates are needed to counter the wear and tear and energy needs of the muscles.

How much protein is recommended for daily intake?

13 Jan 2018 no comments adunit

Those who undergo moderate to heavy exercise predominantly runners and strength trainers who need some muscle mass as well need 1.2 – 1.7 gm protein per kg body weight (average 1.5 gm per kg weight)

Professional athletes, rigorous exercises, marathon-runners, people with muscle and bodybuilding needs etc require anywhere from 1.7 – 2.2 gm protein per kg body weight. (average 2gm per kg body weight)

What is the importance of timing of protein intake in runners, weight trainers, and other rigorous exercisers?

Protein must be consumed, both before and after exercise. Before starting exercise, a light snack of protein and carbohydrates is essential. Post exercise, the body’s muscles enter an ‘anabolic window’ in which the muscles are very protein-hungry for 1-2 hours. This is the best time to replenish proteins in the form of protein drinks or a high protein meal along with antioxidants. This helps in replenishing the protein loss from muscular wear and tear as well as energy and antioxidant needs.

Additional recommendations with high protein diets –
With the increase in protein intake, increase your intake of water (between 3-4 liters per day) as well as high calcium-containing foods on a daily basis to maintain kidney and bone health respectively.