Fuel for Runners: Healthy Snacks Before and After your Workout

HIGH PERFORMANCE NUTRITION: FUELLING FOR IMPROVED HEALTH AND ENDURANCE

Natasha will be doing a Sports Nutrition Workshop for runners at Mountain Equipment Co-op at 6:30pm May 14th. To learn more visit: http://events.mec.ca/node/62566

The better you fuel your body, the more energy your muscles can store, the faster you recover, and therefore, the harder you can train. Your fuel determines your athletic potential.

There are three important principles of a sports nutrition strategy for distance running. Applying these principles correctly can help maximize the gains from your training and help ensure that you run your best race.

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Provide optimal fuel for your muscles
  3. Promote optimal recovery after training or racing

How do you determine what to eat?
To simplify a diet for any active individual, fuel your body and reduce nutritional stress by incorporating nutrient dense, whole foods. This provides the body a platform for improved overall health which includes: a reduction in biological age, improved athletic performance, better sleep quality and reduced sugar cravings.

Incorporate:

  • Colourful fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins (fish, chicken, grass-fed beef, eggs)
  • Healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, flax, chia)
  • Whole grains (quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, oats)

Eliminate/Minimize:

  • Processed, sugar-laden products
  • Unhealthy fats (trans, hydrogenated)
  • Inflammatory foods (wheat, dairy, sugar)
  • Stimulants (caffeine, alcohol)

Raspberry Coconut Pre-Run Smoothie
For energy and endurance during your run, it is important to fuel 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to heading out. The key is quick digesting carbs for energy, electrolytes to sustain hydration, and a healthy fat to sustain you through the run.

Ingredients:FullSizeRender
½ cup frozen raspberries
1 tbsp coconut oil or coconut butter
1 ½ cups coconut water
Handful organic baby spinach
Vegan vanilla protein (only if more than 1 hour prior to run)

Directions:

  • Blend ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Banana Protein Bars
These simple, no-bake bars are a perfect option to fuel after exercise. A blend of digestible carbs and protein, this quick snack provides optimal nutrition to aid in proper recovery.

Ingredients:IMG_4579
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ½ cups gluten free oats and/or quinoa flakes
½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 heaping tbsp almond butter (or sunflower seed butter)
1 tsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp Himalayan rock salt
1 scoop vegan protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
Additional shredded coconut for garnish

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well together.
2. Line a square dish with parchment paper.
3. Place the mixture into the square dish and flatten it evenly with your hands. Wet your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick to you.
4. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and lightly press down on bars to secure.
5. Cover the container and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, slice into bars or squares.

Adapted from joyoushealth.com

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