Proper Nutrition for Runners


So many times I hear of people who skip breakfast or who are wanting something that’s healthy for breakfast, but don’t know what to do. If you’re running and you’re wanting something that not only re-energizes and rehabs your body, well, our family has recently found something that I’ve fallen in love with for myself, my wife and my daughters (who are athletes) . . . it just takes a little work/planning.

What I’ve really come to enjoy are homemade smoothies. My 14-year-old daughter actually started making them and the rest of us soon fell in behind.

She uses skim milk, low-fat vanilla yogurt, frozen banana chunks . . . and then she adds things like spinach, a little peanut butter, and fruits to taste. The milk, yogurt, and banana chunks (we peel bananas, break them into pieces, and freeze them for use later) carries that taste and hides less pleasant tastes. The mixture if like 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup yogurt, and a whole medium-sized banana is where she starts . . . dumps it in the blender and starts it up. Now, because she’s in training (weights and a lot of muscle straining exercises for off-season training for volleyball, she also adds about a ½ scoop of vanilla protein powder…adds about 15 grams of protein to the drink for rebuilding muscle).

ANYWAY, smoothies are a great way to put protein and a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. You probably don’t want to overdo the peanut butter, but the rest can provide a lower calorie, high protein, and high-vitamin drink. I love adding blueberries to mine (any fruit high in antioxidants), which is great for recovery.

Having said that, we grow our own blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries which we add to our smoothies. We freeze a lot of them in the summer months so we have fruit in the winter months to use. If you don’t have your own bushes, watch stores for seasonal fruit and stock up . . . hint: do NOT wash fresh fruit if you plan to freeze the fruit, wash it (frozen) just before you use it or else the fruit will stick together in a massive chunk in the freezer rather than just pouring out of the bag. : )

Anyway, nutrition is huge in staying healthy. A smoothie, with just a little planning (and a blender) you can have a meal that you can take with you and resembles a shake in texture and taste, but is so much better for you (and if you add spinach/vegies, you really can’t taste it . . . unless you want to, by adding “excessive” amounts of that veggie.)

Well, I know this is a little bit different of a post, but our family has really come to enjoy this option of getting a lot of good stuff in a great tasting breakfast – and when you fuel your body with good stuff, it has the right fuel to burn or use to repair your body when you need it!

Have an awesome run today!

Dan


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