Whether you’re training for a marathon or simply enjoy a brisk run every once in a while, you might want to keep challenging yourself and push your limits to make you become a better runner and maintain a caloric deficit to keep your body lean and make it a running machine. A healthy diet is an important part of any runner’s routine. It should be packed with nutrient-rich superfoods to improve your performance and speed by enhancing your energy levels and reducing the risk of injury and illness by helping the body heal effectively and efficiently. If you’re ready to boost your running ability, we have a list of the best superfoods for runners that you should check out.
The 10 Best Superfoods for Weight Loss
This yellow crescent-shaped fruit with black patches is a smorgasbord of carbs, vitamins, and nutrients that can become a great addition to any runner’s diet. The fruit has a high dosage of potassium that meets a significant portion of the daily intake requirement. A potassium-rich diet is essential for running, especially in hot climates, as we tend to sweat minerals and salts, which can affect blood pressure. By consuming bananas, you can replenish your body with essential minerals and maintain your blood pressure levels. Bananas are also great pre-run foods as they provide an instant energy boost due to their high carb content that can make for a satisfactory run.
Berries are the ultimate healthy dessert for runners as they don’t make you sluggish or drastically increase your calorie count, which can be detrimental to your cholesterol levels and pose other significant health risks. A healthy serving of berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries can provide a boost of antioxidants and vitamins for your body that can help it be in tip-top shape. By including more strawberries in your diet, you can significantly increase your vitamin C production that helps with cell and muscle repair. Strawberries also have anthocyanins which reduces inflammation in runners while aiding with muscle repair. Blackberries contain vitamin C and fiber, which promote healthy bodily functions and healing. Additionally, blackberries are also a source of vitamin K, which strengthens the bones. Berries can be consumed at any time of the day, and they can be incorporated in salads or breakfast bars or be eaten by a handful because of their low calorie count that makes them perfect superfoods for runners.
Broccoli is a rich green-colored vegetable found in individual clusters and belongs to the cabbage family, which is chock full of vitamins such as vitamin C, making it ideal for runners. The vegetable’s high vitamin C count reduces muscle soreness and promotes tissue healing. Broccoli also has immunity-boosting abilities and contains soluble fiber that aids in reducing cholesterol levels and prevents diseases. It is also an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids that possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can prevent bloating for runners. The vegetable also has phytonutrients that help the body detoxify to keep your system healthy for a run. It is also a great source of calcium, folic acid, and vitamin K for improving bone strength. Broccoli can be incorporated as a healthy superfood during mealtime, and it pairs exceptionally well with lean meats such as fish and chicken.
4. Peanut Butter (B00LPE5EZQ)
Peanut butter might not appear to be the conventional runner’s food and one-half of the ever-popular PB & J sandwich, but you might be surprised by the beneficial nutrients in this creamy delight. Peanuts are full of good fats, proteins, carbs, and fiber, just like other nuts, but this peanut butter needs to be without any additives such as salt and sugar. Peanuts are an excellent source of vitamin E and as they contain monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help reduce cholesterol levels. They also strengthen the immune system and improve recovery while also preventing injuries. The protein content of peanut butter aid in relieving muscle tearing and strain while also making them grow and heal faster. Peanut butter provides a boost of energy essential for any runner, which can keep them moving and it can be consumed on toast or by the spoonful, making it convenient to eat.
Yogurt is full of nutrients that improve overall health, and it contains carbohydrates and proteins, making it excellent for runners. Plain yogurt has a high percentage of amino acids that can assist with rebuilding muscles and speed up the recovery process by protecting muscles. It is also an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium that is important for maintaining strong and healthy bonds, and it contains live bacteria that act as probiotics and encourages your gut flora to flourish while boosting your immune system. It is better for runners to consume plain yogurt instead of flavored alternatives, which often have preservatives and sugar. Plain yogurt can be sweetened by adding honey or mixing it with fruits such as berries or bananas. If you’re looking for a high protein option, Greek yogurt is loaded with protein that can be consumed after an extensive run to build tissues and soothe fatigued muscles.
Oats can make for a portion of excellent breakfast food in the form of oatmeal which can be consumed both pre and post-run. The whole-grain superfood is full of carbs, fiber, and micronutrients that make it have a low glycemic index which means the vitamins and minerals are absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, which causes blood sugar levels to rise slowly, and they can keep the runner feeling full throughout their run. Oatmeal also offers a sustained dose of vitamin D, minerals, and antioxidants that maintain the body and protect it from diseases such as coronary heart disease. As it is also a source of proteins, it enhances the body’s healing mechanism to allow runners to be consistent in their daily run without muscle soreness due to exertion. Oatmeal can also be supplemented with fruits such as bananas to make it the ideal runner’s superfood.
7. Dark Chocolate (B000HQNBSU)
Dark chocolate can double as a treat and a superfood for runners as it is loaded with carbs and antioxidants with a minimal amount of sugar. Dark chocolate increases the capacity of your body to perform aerobic respiration, which is believed to be linked with epicatechin that allows your cells to function more efficiently by consuming oxygen. The antioxidants in dark chocolate are known as flavonoids which are also known for reducing inflammation which can be exceptionally beneficial for runners who experience muscle and joint inflammation during running. Dark chocolate can be consumed either before or after the workout to obtain maximum benefits and pain reduction. The cacao in dark chocolate is important for flooding your rain with serotonin – a mood-regulating hormone that helps the runner stay energized during their run and helps them associate positive emotions with consuming dark chocolate and running. Dark chocolate is also easy to consume, and it has a high carb content that can be consumed after a run to replenish your glycogen stores; and the balance of proteins and carbs are effective and aiding muscle recovery. Dark chocolate also contains caffeine that can keep you awake and running for longer as it boosts strength and endurance.
Potatoes are high-calorie foods that are loaded with starch and carbohydrates, which are slowly absorbed through the digestive tract into the bloodstream provide a long-term boost of energy. Potatoes are also full of potassium, and they contain fewer calories than an equivalent portion of her eyes which makes them an excellent side dish with lean meats or poultry. While sweet potatoes have considerably fewer calories than potatoes, they have a high nutritional content as they are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A which not only acts as an antioxidant but it also improves your eyesight, making it easier to run before the sun rises or at night. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamins B and C that are linked with muscle growth and recovery while also strengthening bones, and they are also capable of boosting your immune system. The vegetable is also a low glycemic food which allows the blood sugar levels to remain steady throughout your run as it acts as a constant energy supply while also preventing diseases such as obesity.
As a leafy green vegetable, spinach is low in calories and fats but rich in proteins, fiber, and nutrients that can help runners optimize their physical activity. It contains nutrients such as iron, which is good for creating red blood cells that limit fatigue during running; antioxidants, which include phytonutrients and manganese, which boosts your immune system and metabolism while also reducing inflammation; and vitamin A which keeps your eyesight sharp and body healthy. Spinach also contains quantities of vitamin B6 that is responsible for creating hemoglobin which transports and retains oxygen in red blood cells, and it is also high in potassium which is essential for the repair of muscle tissues. It is also loaded with vitamin K and calcium, which promotes healthy and strong bones. Spinach can be paired with a whole grain faster to provide a high carb meal for runners that can provide runners with energy during their workout and supplement their body is with essential minerals and vitamins for building muscles.
Coffee is great for boosting your energy levels with a dose of caffeine, and it is primarily used as a superfood for its high caffeine content, which facilitates runners by enhancing their awareness of fine motor functions, which helps them run faster by allowing them to cover more distance in less time. Coffee also hydrates the body before you can go on a run; however, it is better to have coffee without cream, milk, or sugar so you can tap into the full potential of the brown flavorful, and aromatic drink. The stimulating effect of caffeine increases noradrenaline production in the brain, which enhances speed and performance, and the drink is also high in antioxidants which boosts the immune system. Caffeine is also linked with being a pain killer, and it is even used in some common over-the-counter medicines as an auxiliary analgesic to help with muscle strain and pain in runners. Everything should be consumed in moderation, which is why you should consume coffee had a level that agrees with your metabolism and caffeine tolerance.
Our Final Thoughts
Runners need a different lifestyle and meal plan, which should be loaded with nutrients and vitamins to meet their running goals. The diet should provide them with a source of energy to ensure they can run the distance, and the food items should enhance the body’s healing ability and prevent muscle soreness while also protecting them from illnesses and diseases. Our list of the best superfoods for runners ensures there are options suitable for different running styles and routines as they can be incorporated at different mealtimes, and they can even be consumed directly before the run for a boost of energy so you can have an endorphin high from your run. You can always mix these superfoods to create nutrient-rich meals that will inevitably enhance your running skills.