What Should Be In A Runner’s Diet

Proper nutrition is important among runners for two reasons. One is to supplement their energy to achieve power performance. And two is to meet their nutritional needs. However, runner’s diet and proper nutrition are two of the most overlooked aspects of running that many runners, novices most especially, feel powerless and fatigued every time they run.

When running, runners burn calories, or energy, and to be able to fuel their running, they need to replace the lost calories adequately. Taking the following, in the right amount and at the right time, will do the job.

diet

Carbohydrates

A normal diet should consist of 40% carbohydrates. For runners, however, the number should be anywhere from 60 to 65%, the reason being, carbohydrates are a good source of energy. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose and are then stored as glycogen. When running, the muscles use the stored glycogen to keep them energized. Sodas and candies provide carbohydrates, only theirs is the so-called simple carbohydrates or those that give energy for a short period of time. What the runners need are complex carbohydrates because these produce energy for long-term use. They can come from pastas, rice, breads, potatoes, and grains. Runners are recommended to take at least three grams of carbohydrates for every pound of body weight everyday. So a 120-pound runner should have 360 grams of carbohydrates daily.

Fats

Fats should make up 20 to 25% of the diet. Runners should take their fat requirements mostly from mono-unsaturated fats, or those that are liquid in form, as they are believed to meet sports nutritional needs effectively. Natural oils are good sources of mono-unsaturated fats. Foods with saturated and poly-unsaturated fats, such as red meats, butter, and margarine, are also good, but they should be taken in very minimal amounts. Foods with omega-3, an essential fat, should be also included in the runner’s diet.

Protein

To improve muscle stamina, runners are recommended to take .5 to .75 gram of protein for every pound of body weight daily. Proteins are not only a good source of energy, they also help in muscle growth and repair of broken muscles. Protein, which should be 15 to 20% of a runner’s diet, can be acquired from nuts, eggs, fish, beans, grains, and low-fat dairy products.

Water

Runners sweat a lot when running, a normal response to the muscles’ rigorous workout. But in order to prevent dehydration, weakness, and, in more serious cases, heat stroke while running, runners need to constantly replenish the lost amount of fluid. The problem usually is that runners replenish only half of the amount. To be adequately hydrated, they need to drink water before, during, and after running. And whether thirsty or not, they need to continuously hydrate themselves throughout the day.

Vitamins and Minerals

Recent studies pointed out that a runner’s diet should have the vitamins A, C, and E. All three have antioxidant properties that can rid of free radicals. Calcium, which strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis, and iron, which helps in the delivery of oxygen to all parts of the body, should also be included in the diet. Although most of these vitamins and minerals are obtained from supplements, foods are still the recommended source.

 

diet
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The Wonder of Chinese Green Tea

 Have you tasted Chinese green tea?  As you all know, green tea is the most popular types of Chinese tea.  Many people, not only Chinese, consider it as the best drink for sultry summers.  The main reason for this claim is the fact that green tea is cool and fights off inflammation.   Many have even claimed that it relieves fever.

Actually, the health benefits of Chinese green tea have been known throughout the world.  The Chinese have known about these medicinal benefits since ancient times, as they have been using green tea to treat everything from headaches to depression.  A writer named Nadine Taylor in her book Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life mentioned that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.

chinese green tea

These days, numerous scientific researches conducted both in Asia and the West is providing hard evidences for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea.  To mention, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study in 1994, indicating that drinking Chinese green tea lowers the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60 percent.  Also, it was reported by the researches of the University of Purdue just recently that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

There are other medical conditions to which drinking green tea is reputed to be beneficial.   To sum up, these conditions include cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, rheumatoid arthritis, impaired immune function, and even high cholesterol levels.

What Makes Green Tea Special?

The top secret of Chinese green tea lies in the fact that it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly the said epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).  EGCG is basically an anti-oxidant that has the power to fight and kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue in the body.   Studies also revealed that this anti-oxidant has been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and hampering the abnormal formation of blood clots.  The latter benefit takes on added importance for the fact that the formation of abnormal blood clots, medically known as thrombosis, is the main factor that causes stroke and heart attacks.

Furthermore, the effects of Chinese green tea and the “French Paradox” were highly associated.   Researches were in the first place puzzled by the fact that despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a less incidence of heart disease than Americans.  The primary answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol.  Resveratrol is as polyphenol that restricts the negative effects of smoking as well as a fatty diet.  However, in 1997, a certain study reported that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol.  And, this somehow explains the lower rate of heart disease among Chinese men even though approximately 70 percent are smokers.

Other Benefits

 New evidences that reveal the other benefits of Chinese green tea are now emerging.  One of those is the claim that Chinese green tea can help dieters.  Researches found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more fats than those given only a placebo and caffeine.

Chinese green tea is also said to prevent tooth decay.  Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also fight the bacteria that cause dental plague.

Today, several skin preparations containing green tea, from deodorants to creams, are also starting to appear on the market.  This is for the reason that Chinese green tea is found out to be powerful in fighting bacteria that cause skin imperfections.

Chinese green tea
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4 Steps To Better Health

It’s possible to learn HOW to better your health in only 4 steps and this article will show you how. Each step is a bite-sized nugget of healthy living information you can actually use.

Let’s get started…

health

Step 1: Nutritional Supplements

In my opinion, they are very necessary and very beneficial- especially when combined with healthy eating habits. It’s very difficult to get all the nutrients your body needs through food alone, but combining proper nutrition with nutritional supplements is very powerful.

That being said, the one supplement everyone should be taking is a good multi vitamin/mineral. Look at it as added insurance- eating well is crucial, but now that you’re also taking a multi, you can rest assured you’re getting the nutrients your body needs.

Step 2: Nutrition

Good nutrition is SO important. You are what you eat…remember that. Make a conscious effort to gradually improve your eating habits, eating more of the good foods (nuts, berries, peanut butter, olive oil, greens, chicken, whole grains, etc.) and less of the bad foods (fried food, saturated fat, fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc.). Reading the label of what you’re eating will tell you a lot.

You may think you lack the needed will power, but you’ll be amazed at what happens when you start to gradually improve your eating habits.

Step 3: Exercise

Exercise is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to better health. There are so many benefits of exercising, including stronger bones and improved libido- it’s a no brainer to start doing it. Your goal should be to exercise 3-5 times a week with a combination of cardio exercises and strength training (but no more than 1 hour per workout session).

It’s been measured that if you add 3 pounds of muscle to your body, this added muscle will burn as many calories as if you ran 1 mile. Muscle burns calories!

Step 4: Stress Management and Sleep

Stress management and getting good sleep each night round out your path to better health. Until you find a way to manage your stress, it will continue to do damage to your body. Two tips you might want to implement include prioritizing your day each morning and practicing deep breathing exercises (yes, you probably already knew this, but have you tried it?).

Getting enough sleep each night is equally important when you consider your body uses this time to repair itself. You should aim for 7-9 hours each night. Two tips you might want to implement include exercising and avoiding late night eating.

Now that you have the basics, expand on this information. Step 1 research more about Nutritional Supplements, Step 2 research more about Nutrition and so on. I guarantee after the 4 steps you’ll feel more confident about reaching your health & fitness goals.

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