Eating specific foods and taking some basic supplements can help support the overall physical health and wellness. With the regular running and training schedule some of our body’s essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals get depleted, which creates many side effects. We want to avoid stress, especially before races, maintain a healthy gut, look after our muscle recovery, boost our energy level, support our immune system and make sure we get good quality sleep.
1. Reduce Stress
As human beings, stress is part of our life. For runners, sometimes stress can affect our performance, especially before a race. Drink- One of the best natural drink to reduce nerves and stress levels is green tea. It contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to induce alpha brain waves, associated with a state of “wakeful relaxation”. Drink green tea daily, especially the week before a race, when you should lower your caffeine intake. Supplement- Ashwaganda is one of the superfoods adaptogenic herbs which helps reduce stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Adding ashwaganda supplements to your daily diet will help ease your mind.
2. Protect your Gut
You can improve your gut health by eating probiotic foods, which will help support your overall health. Our gut affects our whole system, to have a healthy gut, with lots of healthy bacteria, we can avoid diseases, digestive issues, low levels of energy and fatigue, and our body not absorbing all the nutrients we need. Eat- Probiotic foods are full of beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut microbiome. Probiotic foods are created by fermentation and can be found in foods such as miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, and kefir. Supplement- Probiotics supplement provide a higher dose of healthy bacteria than only found in foods. Take daily probiotics supplements.
3. Reduce Muscle Soreness
Make sure you include omega-3’s in your diet to reduce post-run muscle soreness. Eat- Omega-3’s rich foods, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, which helps to reduce inflammation. Supplement- Magnesium is a great supplement to reduce muscle soreness, inflammation and look after our muscle tissue. Take magnesium supplement with calcium supplement before bed as it also helps with sleep quality.
4. Boost your Energy
To support your energy level and wellness, make sure you include all the macronutrients in each meal. Protein, healthy carbs, healthy fats so that your body doesn’t crash. Eat- Include enough protein in every meal- 1.2g-1.9g/kg of bodyweight according to your training distance and intensity and bodyweight. Supplement- Fatigue can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency which is very common. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement daily will support your energy level.
5. Support your Immune System
Vitamin C is a very important health supplement, it helps boost the immunity system, maintenance of bone and cartilage, repair of muscle tissue wounds, protects from cold. Eat- A variety of fruits and vegetables, including oranges, kiwi, strawberries, kale, broccoli, red peppers, tomatoes. Supplement- Taking daily vitamin C supplements help support the immune system.
6. Sleep Quality
Sometimes our mind is in overdrive due to stress, work, intense training, race stress which can affect the quality of our sleep.
Eat- The get a good night sleep, we must avoid caffeine in the afternoon, and avoid eating refined, starchy carbs or sugar before bed. Adding magnesium-rich foods and melatonin boosters to our daily diet will provide a good sleep quality. For dinner, eat foods rich in amino acid tryptophan, almonds, seeds, tuna, crab, which the body needs to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Supplement- To take a supplement that contains glycine, magnesium and cherry extracts will help promote a better sleep.
Train Well, Eat Well, Feel Great!