Authored by: Susan Lupackino, MHS, RD, LDN of food is good
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Ahh, nothing I love more than a nice long run. Running is a great way to stay active. I’ve participated in a number of races, ranging from marathons to 5K’s. I don’t run races to win – I simply run to finish. There’s nothing like crossing the finish line race after race. The rush of adrenaline pumping through my body feels pretty amazing. But as a Dietician I know how important it is to snack on the right foods pre and post-race. Choosing the right foods will keep your blood sugar levels intact, which also reduce cravings. It’s a good idea to snack every couple of hours to keep your metabolism high and to control your appetite throughout the day.
Aim to keep your snacks around 200-300 calories. Avoid cookies, chips and candy. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy snacks to get the most amounts of nutrients. Choosing nutrient-dense snacks is very important to keep you nice and energized and prevent you from crashing at mile five. Snacking on the right stuff will also help you to recover post-run.
30 to 60 minutes before a run. Choose a high-carb snack filled with good fats and low fiber to help you stay full and provide you with fast energy. High fiber snacks can cause an upset stomach and cramping during your run.
A banana with one tablespoon of peanut butter makes a delicious combination. Bananas are easy to digest and very rich in potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps.
Make your own trail mix. Throw in dried fruit, sunflower seeds, almonds, low-sugar cereals, and even the occasional piece of candy for something sweet.
Rice cakes also make a wonderful little treat. I usually spread one tablespoon of peanut butter or Nutella on top for extra protein. Two rice cakes have 70 calories and almost two grams of fiber.
Choose a food with a good source of carbohydrate and protein to help improve your recovery so you can get back on the road again. Here are some good recovery snacks.
Chocolate milk provides a nice blend of protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins. This tasty drink is a perfect post-run workout treat.
Yogurt makes for another excellent snack. Avoid the yogurt with the fruit and syrup already added—they tend to have more sugar. Instead, jazz up your yogurt with a handful of fresh blueberries, strawberries or bananas. Yogurt is a good source of protein, Vitamin B12, potassium and zinc.
Cereal with skimmed milk is quick. It’s also easily digestible and a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Choose cereals that have at least 5 grams of fiber or more per serving. Raisin bran and shredded wheat are good options.
Running is fun and can be a great way to stay active. Eating the right foods will help you to stay energized during your race, prevent you from crashing, and helping you to recover.
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