Step outside and you’ll smell the flowers blooming and the fresh cut grass and warm pavement. Who would want to stay inside when it’s so nice out? The warmer weather is the perfect excuse to start running outdoors. Nothing beats the feeling of the wind in your face while jamming out to your favorite music. Like so many other activities, a healthy running habit depends on your diet. Incorporating the right foods can help keep your energy levels high and avoid dreaded running stitches or muscle cramps. Before you go grocery shopping, check out the list below for some healthy options:
Need an energy boost? Try peanut butter
As much as we love energy bars, they are loaded with extra unneeded sugar. It can make you feel sluggish when you’re hitting the pavement first thing in the morning. You can slather a banana with peanut butter to give you the energy you need, noted Fitness Magazine. The peanut butter provides your body protein, which it can use for energy. The potassium in the banana can prevent muscle cramps – perfect for the days you skimp on your warmup routine. Just be sure to keep the snack small: When you run, your stomach stops digesting so your body can divert blood flow to your legs. That means that a large meal will sit in your stomach, which can leave you feeling nauseous.
Tackling inclines and hills? Eat oranges
After an intense workout, your muscles suffer microtears. No need to worry! When they repair, they come back stronger – but it can leave you feeling sore in the meantime. Runner’s World recommended adding oranges to your diet to preemptively tackle muscle soreness. You can roast them with balsamic-glazed chicken for lunch or top your yogurt with them for a quick snack. Running low on oranges? You can swap out fruits, like grapefruits, that are also high in Vitamin C.
Nibbling on oranges can minimize muscle soreness.
Want to hit a new personal record? Swig some coffee
There are many energy drinks on the market that promise increased focus and energy levels. However, they are chock-full of ingredients that have questionable side effects. If you’re looking to shave off a few seconds the next time you hit the pavement, you can sip coffee before you begin. The mild caffeine boost will help you fly like the wind! Just note: Coffee can’t be a substitute for sleep. If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, you may hurt yourself, as you’ll become more clumsy – and more prone to injury.
Going long distances? Try gummies
Including longer runs as part of your workout can do wonders for your health – but it can deplete your stores of carbohydrates quickly. When you’re wrapping up a run, you need an energy source your body can burn through. You can give runner’s gummies or jelly beans a try. According to Men’s Journal, the sugar in them provides fuel for your muscles, so you can keep energy levels high without hitting a slump.
Running can be a great way to break a sweat anytime during the year. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you’ll be sure to feel the difference. On your mark, get set, go!