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Health Advice for Runners

Updated on May 9, 2010

Running can be a great form of exercise but it can take a toll on the body. Running can tear some muscles and tendons and takes up a lot of energy. For those that want to get in shape by running this hub will help you out. Running is not just about physical exercise to lose weight. To get the maximum benefits out of running, you need to also eat right and intake the proper nutritional elements. Eating proper can repair any damage done by running and replenish missing nutrients. Here are some dietary elements that are essential for running and exercising.

Carbohydrates-Top performance, better endurance, speedy recovery. The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Your liver breaks down carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar), which is used for energy by the body. 400-600 mg daily. Whole grain breads and cereals Starchy vegetables Legumes, Fruits Milk and milk products Vegetables.

Protein- They play an essential role in the cellular maintenance, growth, and functioning of the human body. Serving as the basic structural molecule of all the tissues in the body, protein makes up nearly 17 percent of the total body weight. 50 mg, Found in meat, poultry, fish, milk, egg, and cheese, legumes; navy beans, pinto beans, chick peas, soybeans, split peas.

Fat- Play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. Omega 3’s, fish oils, 3,000 mg. Fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil, and green leafy vegetables. Shrimp, clams, light chunk tuna, catfish, cod, and spinach.

Fiber- Because it makes you feel full faster, it can be helpful in controlling weight. Fiber aids digestion, helps prevent constipation, and is sometimes used for the treatment of diverticulosis, diabetes, and heart disease. 25 g whole grains and beans. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber has been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It appears to speed the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool.

Calcium- Builds and maintains bone strength, which prevents stress fractures, Builds and maintains teeth, Helps regulate heart function, Assists in muscle growth and contraction. 1,000 mg. Milk & milk products, Calcium fortified juices, Beans, Oranges, Broccoli.

Iron- Delivers oxygen to your blood, Along with protein, helps form hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs through the blood to the body tissues, which includes the muscles. 18 mg. Beef, Lamb, Pork, Leafy green vegetables, Iron fortified cereals, Breads.

Vitamin C- Helps the formation of scar tissue, Fights bacterial infection, Reduces the impact of some allergy producing substances, Helps prevent the common cold (Controversial), As an antioxidant, fights cancer, cataracts, and heart disease. 75 mg. Citrus fruits, melon, berries, vegetables; like Broccoli, Tomatoes, Oranges, Grapefruit, Cantaloupe

Vitamin E- Lessens oxidative damage after hard training, Prevents lung damage from many pollutants, Vital to the immune system. 15 mg . Vegetable oils, Wheat germ, Whole grains, Rice, Leafy vegetables, and almonds.

Beta-Carotene- Antioxidant. Prevents cancer and heart disease and can boost our immune system. 10 mg orange, yellow and red fruits or vegetables.

Vitamin A- Critical to the development of bones and teeth. Helps maintain good eyesight. Enhances the immune system. Prevents red blood cell damage. 600 mg. Dark green leafy vegetables, Yellow-orange vegetables and fruits, Liver, Milk, Butter.

Drinking Nutrients


Drinking is also an important way to get the nutrition you need. Here are some beverages that you can drink before or after you are done running.

Iced Green Tea- Drink it before or after your run. Green Tea contains antioxidants that help fight heart disease and cancer. It has catechins that reduce muscle damage caused by exercise. It also speeds recovery.

Coconut Water- You can drink it before or after the run. Coconut water NOT coconut milk. It contains 670mg of potassium. Potassium helps maintain water balance and helps muscle function. It also contains enough carbs for an hour of running.

Chocolate Milk- Drink after you complete your run. This drink has carbs and proteins that help speed recovery of muscles. Plus milk contains calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones.

Cherry Juice- Drink after running. Cherries are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also useful in recovery.

Vegetable Juice- To drink after your run. Vegetable juice is full of nutrients from many vegetables. Mostly tomatoes that have lycopene which is an antioxidant that has been shown to protect muscles from oxidative stress caused by exercise.

We can now see that it is important to eat and drink the right nutrients when exercising. Running can damage your muscles and deplete the body of vitamins and minerals. It is important to repair and replenish these nutrients. So if you decide to get in shape by running then I would recommend watching what you eat and drink. Also eating healthy makes you feel better and gives you more energy to exercise.


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    • Ironracer profile image


      11 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great info! I started taking multivitamins again to help supplement.


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