RUNNING ON EMPTY
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Bangkok Post Mini Marathon a few weeks back! What a great event and achievement for all those who took part and we were so very proud to be a part of such a spectacular and healthy initiative…..and we look forward to sponsoring the next one!
If running a marathon is a little far off your current exercise level but getting in shape and incorporating fitness in your life is your goal then you have to start looking at your diet.
Sports Nutrition is a fascinating subject, depending on the type of exercise you do your nutritional needs will vary, but working out and eating well go hand in hand. You simply can’t have one without the other! Imagine getting your car serviced and the engine tuned, the oil changed and then putting all that dirty oil back in? If you start working out and still eat an unhealthy diet you’re undoing all of your good work and you will start noticing how eating junk food affects your new healthy machine.
When you start exercising regularly you are rebuilding, sculpting and energizing your body and everything you eat goes into creating that. So it’s time to power up, dump the junk and start eating mean, clean and green!
Different foods are absorbed and broken down differently in the digestive system you need to know what to eat and when. We all know exercising on a full stomach is a no-no but you also need to consume the right foods at the right times. Protein and fat take much longer for the body to break down, so eating these types of foods just before your workout will mean all your energy is going into digesting food rather than giving your muscles energy to work out.
Any heavy food, protein, high fiber or fat should be eaten a minimum 1.5 hours before working out. The best food to sustain your energy and especially for an activity like running will be carbohydrates. Carbs give your muscles fuel and make your workout better and more sustained. 20 minutes before your workout, eat whole food-based simple carbohydrates, such as fruit, for an instant burst of energy.
Good choices are fruit, fresh juice, a banana, trail mix with dried fruit and seeds or if you need extra sustenance - a superfood smoothie is ideal! Better still, add some of the wonderful Brazilian berry Acai for a huge energy hit (check out the recipe for my Acai Smoothie in our recipe section). I promise you that Acai will change your run completely! Run suddenly equals Fun!
Post workout, your needs are different. Whether you’re doing cardio or weight training, you need to give your body the right fuel to repair, restore and rebuild. Now is when you need your protein shake. If you’re super hungry when you leave the gym you might be tempted to grab something unhealthy on your way home, so make your smoothie in advance and take it with you.
The amino acids in protein are what your body and muscles will be craving and are essential for building muscle. So don’t skip on the shake! Sunwarrior Protein Powder is the best protein powder on the market and much better than Whey or Soy - not only is it the best but it’s raw and vegan too. Oh and comes in Chocolate flavour if you want too! Perfect! After all that hard work nothing wrong with treating yourself to something delicious and good for you.
It’s also important to hydrate before during and after your workout. Avoid energy drinks as most of these are filled with sugar and additives, and stick to plain water, coconut water and fresh juice. Give those hard working cells all the things they need to recover!
So as you become fitter, stronger and start feeling great, make sure you stay on top of your game by eating well. Whichever exercise you do, make sure you give your body the best nutrition, food and supplements you can and don’t forget to have rest day. Life is all about balance!
Wishing you health and happiness,
Gee Palmer Nutritionist