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.

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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.

 

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Healthy Diet Essentials

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet as one that Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. But just what minerals and nutrients are vital to our health and well-being? Consider these nutrient-dense foods when you’re looking to improve your vitamin and mineral intake.

Vitamin A is needed for good eyesight and optimal functioning of the immune system. Cod liver oil, dairy products, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables are all great natural food sources of vitamin A.

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Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is imperative to the body’s ability to process carbohydrates. Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas have high amounts of thiamin.

Riboflavin, or B2, can be found in fortified cereals, almonds, asparagus, eggs, and meat. It’s used in many body processes, including converting food into energy and the production of red blood cells.

Niacin, also known as B3, can be found in lean chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey, enriched flour, peanuts, and fortified cereals. It aids in digestion and also plays a key role in converting food into energy.

Vitamin B6 can be found in fortified cereals, fortified soy-based meat substitutes, baked potatoes with skin, bananas, light-meat chicken and turkey, eggs, and spinach. It’s vital for a healthy nervous system, and helps break down proteins and stored sugars.

Vitamin B12 is needed for creating red blood cells, and can be found in beef, clams, mussels, crabs, salmon, poultry, and soybeans.

Citrus fruits, red berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all loaded with vitamin C, which is vital to promoting a healthy immune system, and making chemical messengers in the brain.

Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, cheese, and cereals; egg yolks; salmon; but can also be made by the body from sunlight exposure. It’s needed to process calcium and maintain the health of bones and teeth.

Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and is essential to your skin’s good health. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts, and vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and soybean to get this vital nutrient.

Folic acid can be found in fortified cereals and grain products; lima, lentil, and garbanzo beans; and dark leafy vegetables. It’s vital for cell development, prevents birth defects, promotes heart health, and helps red blood cells form. Pregnant women need to take special care to ensure they are getting enough of this for themselves and their developing baby.

Dairy products, broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach and rhubarb, and fortified products, such as orange juice, soy milk, and tofu are all loaded with calcium. Like vitamin D, it’s very important in helping to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Organ meats, oysters, clams, crabs, cashews, sunflower seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole-grain products, and cocoa products are all high in copper, which aids in metabolism of iron and red cell formation. It also assists in the production of energy for cells.

Iron can be found in leafy green vegetables, beans, shellfish, red meat, poultry, soy foods, and some fortified foods. It’s needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via the red blood cells.

Potassium can be found in foods like Broccoli, potatoes (with the skins on), prune juice, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, bananas, raisins, and tomatoes. It aids in nervous system and muscle function and also helps maintain a healthy balance of water in the blood and body tissues.

Red meat, fortified cereals, oysters, almonds, peanuts, chickpeas, soy foods, and dairy products are great dietary sources of zinc. Zinc supports the body’s immune function, reproduction capabilities, and the nervous systems.

Protein is the main component of muscles, organs, and glands. Every living cell and all body fluids, except bile and urine, contain protein. The cells of muscles, tendons, and ligaments are maintained with protein. Children and adolescents require protein for growth and development, and adults need it to maintain cell integrity. It can be found in foods like beans, milk and meat.

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Complex carbohydrates are the best choice for a stable blood sugar level. Whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, and starchy vegetables are all good complex carbohydrate sources.

Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses. Good sources are fish and shellfish, flax-seed, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.

Though this list is far from complete, it gives a good base of knowledge on which to build a healthy, well-balanced diet.

 

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29 Off-The-Wall Reasons To Get In Better Shape

Establishing clear expectations while working out to get in better shape,  often can be the difference between success and failure. Too many people try to do too much and get frustrated. Instead of “lasering” in on a few great strategies, they try to do as many things as possible. As they say, “Jack of all trades, master of none” applies here.

To help renew your spirits of why proper diet and exercise is important for the New Year, I’ve compiled a somewhat comical list. See how many apply to you:

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• Because it costs you (or your loved ones) over 5 million pennies in future health care if you aren’t

• Because feeling better tomorrow starts today

• Because torture is a bad persuasion technique

• Because studies show that fit people make more money

• Because if you don’t, you suck

• Because movie stars do it

• Because performers do it

• Because everyone that is cool in your life, does it

• Because you CAN commit 1.5 hrs/wk out of 176

• Because avoiding a wheelchair is a good thing

• Because hugs are better when you can actually wrap your arms around someone

• Because your kids really don’t want to put you in a rest home

• Because no matter what you keep telling yourself, thick is not sexy

• Because feeling grandpa’s muscles at Thanksgiving can be a yearly ritual

• Because cottage cheese is for fruit

• Because squeezing into a size 6 means you’re not a size 6

• Because love making is much more fun without the extra rolls

• Because being able to see your toes……hmmmm

• Because bigger clothes cost more money

• Because shopping for smaller clothes raises spirits

• Because hitting the State Fair and observing everyone shouldn’t be the only thing that puts a smile on your face

• Because having the woman in your life open a stuck jar of pickles for you is embarrassing

• Because no matter what anyone says, women are always in competition with each other. You do want to win, right?

• Because you had to ask your 10 year old son to take out the trash…..after all you couldn’t lift it

• Because beer makes everyone else look better while making you look worse

• Because weight training makes you look better while making everyone else look worse (see competition in women)

• Because yelling at the gym is a lot better than yelling at work (unless you are a cheerleader)

• Because “Shut your mouth or I’ll kick your ___,” now actually has meaning

• Because being told you look 40 when you are actually 60 does something strange to self confidence

Again, make sure to renew your sense of self worth this holiday season and strive to become a healthier you. Great information is always key but watch out for the dreaded “information overload.” Get equipped and make ’06 the best year of your life.

 

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You Are What You Eat, Right? (diet tips)

To say that our diet contributes to our health and makes us the people we are is an understatement. The daily diet of every individual helps to determine the quality and length of our own lives, and quite often it affects the quality of our children’s lives.

Everyone has heard your mother say, “You are what you eat, so eat right!” How many of us have ever stopped to really consider what she was saying? You become a product of what you put into your body. Food is not the only contributing factor, but it is one of the major ones. Your genetics plays a role in your health, too. But you can turn the tide even with poor genetics if your diet is a healthy one.

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The diet factor becomes an even more important aspect of our health as we age. Quite often, as our bodies begin to deteriorate, our food and exercise become the reason that we continue to enjoy a quality life, or the reason we are bedridden or otherwise incapacitated. Medical advances have helped to lengthen the life span of the average person by almost 15 years. Along with those advances, have come better living conditions and a better educated public about their food choices. Today’s consumer is more health conscious than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we’re actually eating healthier than ever before. In all actuality, the obesity rate in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. If we are exercising, eating healthier and receiving better medical care than ever before, why are we still fighting obesity issues?

The answer may be found in the statement made previously. You are what you eat. Our daily diet consists of a low intake in fat, and a higher intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates turn to sugar once inside the body’s digestive system. Excess sugar is stored as fat. It’s that simple. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Carbohydrates make you fat. Even the most health conscious consumer can get caught up in the “low fat” misleading labels. Just because it is low fat, doesn’t make it healthy eating. Take the time to know your body, your energy needs, and how to read food labeling for the best health results.

Eating healthy means eating what your individual body needs to keep it running in optimal condition. That often consists of more fruits and vegetables and less processed or manufactured food. The processed and manufactured food is often faster to prepare or consume, but it is not always the healthy choice.

Did you know that your metabolism affects how much food you need, and when?

Metabolism plays a huge role in determining the burn rate of your calorie intake. Your body runs off fuel, just like your car. And, just like your car, if your body’s injectors are clean and efficient, you burn your fuel more effectively. The more effectively we digest our food and turn it into fuel, the healthier we are. Usually, we need less food if we’re making the most of our daily intake.

So, in order to eat healthy for life, we need to understand our individual needs, the role each part of the food group plays in keeping us healthy, and make adjustments as necessary.

 

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Tools to Optimize Your Health and Well Being

Do you want to lose weight and feel better about yourself? The first step towards good health, weight loss and a healthy lifestyle is to develop a plan of action. Start by evaluating your goals. Do you want to fit into your old jeans or keep up with your younger friends in a pickup basketball game? Maybe you just want to feel better about yourself.

After setting goals, you should begin to consider how to make your goals come to life. For most people, a change in lifestyle, through diet and/or exercise, is needed to reach long term weight loss goals.

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A Chi Machine can make a great addition to your new, healthy lifestyle. Chi Machines, like the Chi Vitalizer CY-106, provides passive exercise through an elliptical motion that can help to increase circulation and lymphatic system drainage. This can help to eliminate toxins from the body and increase metabolism, helping to make your dietary and active exercise programs that much more effective.

Using a Chi Machine after a long, hard day can help you to relax and keep you from overeating as a response to the stresses in your life. Making a Chi Machine a regular part of your weight loss plan can create structure that allows you to stick to the other parts of your diet as well. Consider using your Chi Machine for 5-15 minutes a day, either before or after your other exercises or before eating a healthy snack. A lack of exercise and increasing weight can become part of a never-ending spiral. Using a Chi Machine can help you to increase your anabolic metabolism and decrease catabolic metabolism. Catabolic metabolism is a negative force that can inhibit weight loss and contribute to the negative spiral of weight gain and poor health. Read more about Anabolic and Catabolic Metabolisms at AllAboutMassagers.com. Creating a routine and sticking to it is the most important aspect of weight loss success and a Chi Machine can help you achieve your goals and begin a new, healthy lifestyle.

 

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How To Diet Without Sacrifice

So many people view dieting as some sort of cosmic punishment for not having the perfect body. They believe that enjoying food is somehow bad for them, which couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to be completely honest with yourself, when it comes to dieting, it isn’t about giving up food or flavor; it’s about discovering new foods and flavors. At least that is what it is for those who truly love food as well as adventure.

There are many spices out there that can make even the blandest of foods a little exciting. Fish and chicken are popular diet foods because they are lean meats. However, adding a little blackening seasoning is a great way to put a little punch in your meal that will make it taste great without packing on the calories of dressing marinades or soaking in butter before broiling. You do not have to stop there. Italian seasoning can also add a little flavor to your kitchen without adding the extra calories that you are working so hard to avoid.

There are all kinds of seasonings that will work well in this instance. Many great seasonings for chicken also make great additions to chicken that will be included in salads for healthier lunches or salad wraps. Grains are good for you when you concentrate on whole grains. They are quite often the primary source of fiber in a diet and you need fiber almost as much as you need water. At any rate, simple things that spice up the same old lunch can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of food.

You can even enjoy the occasional treat when dieting as long as you do so sparingly. The key when dieting is to learn about proper portions and moderate indulgence. You can find all kinds of low sugar or low carb desserts on the market that you can enjoy sparingly. You can even find sugar free or low calorie candy in some cases though you should keep in mind that calories, particularly when it comes to candy you eat unconsciously add up quickly and you must pay close attention to those things you put into your mouth.

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My point in all this though is that you do not have to sacrifice flavor in order to diet. You can live without butter; there are many substitutions on the market that are quite remarkable. But seasonings are a great way to add a lot of flavor for a tiny bit of effort on your part. Desserts are also great and you can find many dips and sauces that can be made with fat free or low fat mayonnaise or sour cream in order to cut a few more calories during your dieting process.

These dips and sauces can often make a great substitution, when paired with vegetables, for those chips and dips we love so much and often miss when dieting. Cucumbers, green, red, and yellow peppers, broccoli, and carrot sticks all have a nice little crunch to them that when combined with a good low fat dip can help cure the crave beast for greasy chips that often rears its head when dieting.

If you watch your calories carefully during meals you should be delighted to know that there are many little snack treats that are prepackaged in 100 calorie packs for your enjoyment. This means that you can indulge on occasion in those treats that you love most without sacrificing all your dieting efforts in the process. These snack packs have become one of the best marketing ploys since the invention of diet colas. We all want the benefits of losing weight and will readily admit that if it were a simple process we’d all be thin. However, having something like these hundred calorie snack packs to carry you through the worst of your cravings can mean the difference between dieting success and failure. They are definitely the difference in the old way of dieting and the new way of dieting without sacrificing flavor.

 

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