Food For … Post Training
As a runner, from a health and nutritional view point, our aims post training include efficient recovery so we are nourished and energised ready for the next training session.
Additionally, the type and timing of our food intake post training is important for minimising the risk of DOMS, muscle loss, injury and illness.
Karen and Aileen’s favourite post-race foods.
Why we require to fuel correctly post training.
The 4 foods we’ll be discussing today are:
- Sweet Potato
Nutritional Properties of Quinoa
Quinoa is a complete protein meaning it contains all 9 Essential Amino Acids that the body cannot produce by itself. For runners this is particularly important because the BCAAs (leucine, iso leucine and valine) are essential AAs and they are required post-training for building and repairing muscle. Quinoa is also a very good source of Mg, which is important for muscle relaxation so may help reduce the risk and/or severity of DOMS following exercise. Mg is also key for bone health so may help reduce the risk of stress fractures.
Nutritional Properties of Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a root vegetable, therefore has a high Carbohydrate content but, unlike many other carbohydrate rich root vegetables, sweet potato is thought to help stabilise blood sugar levels and improve insulin response to carbohydrate/sugars rather than de-stabilise blood sugar sensitivity. It is sometimes classified as an “antidiabetic food”. For a runner post-training, it would be a great food to introduce approx. 1-2hrs post-training when a more slow-release carbohydrate is required to maintain blood sugar balance whilst also continuing to replenish glycogen stores (if an endurance run has been completed).
Nutritional Properties of Honey
Honey is high in carbohydrate in the form of simple sugars so is an ideal food to consume IMMEDIATELY after training, so in a 20-30 minute window following training. By consuming a quick release carbohydrate food at this time, it helps maximise glycogen repletion so could help reduce recovery time ensuring that you are ready and energised for your next run.
Honey is also known to have other health benefits including antimicrobial properties, which may benefit a runner by reducing the risk of infections, which are common in long distance runners, especially Upper Respiratory Tract Infections. It’s is important to stress here is that the quality of the honey will determine the health benefits contained within. Most commercial honeys are processed, clarified, and filtered, which greatly reduces the nutritional content. Raw honey is superior and is known to retain more of the phytonutrients lost during the regular processing of honey.
Nutritional Properties of Cinnamon
Cinnamon has been found to have many therapeutic properties and it is thought that the active ingredients cinnamaldehyde and eugenol contained in the essential oil of cinnamon are responsible for most of the health benefits associated with cinnamon. Cinnamon is known to be carminative (i.e. reduce flatulence) so, post-training it may be helpful for runners who tend to suffer from some degree of runners tummy or trapped wind/cramping during running.
Additionally, Cinnamon is a rich source of manganese; two teaspoons containing 0.76mg of manganese, the equivalent to one third of the recommended average daily intake. Manganese is an important enzyme cofactor essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins so could support optimal utilisation of these macronutrients post training.
Summary of the Nutritional Properties of our 4 foods:
Nutritional property of Quinoa is protein to support muscle building and repair post-training
Nutritional property of Sweet Potato is slow release carbohydrate to support glycogen repletion and blood sugar balance post-training
Nutritional property of Honey is quick release sugars to support speedy glycogen repletion IMMEDIATELY post training
Nutritional properties of Cinnamon are the phytochemicals contained within the essential oil of cinnamon known to help alleviate many digestive symptoms including flatulence and constipation, which many runners suffer from.
Recipe and Menu Ideas
Food ideas for Quinoa; quinoa pancakes, quinoa and avocado salad, quinoa porridge
Food ideas for Sweet Potato: sweet potato and spinach curry, baked sweet potato with cottage cheese and herbs, sweet potato energy balls.
Food ideas for honey: roasted aubergine with honey, salad dressing, honey flapjacks
Food ideas for cinnamon: yogurt with baked fruits and cinnamon, cinnamon smoothie, fruit and cinnamon crumble
Check out our suggestions for a 1-Day Menu Plan
Our Suggestions for a 1-Day Food Plan
The key nutrient in Quinoa that we discussed was Protein, which is essential for muscle repair and muscle building post training.
The key nutrient in Sweet Potato that we highlighted was carbohydrate. Sweet potato contains slow-release carbohydrate required for glycogen repletion and blood sugar balance post training.
The key nutrient in Honey we focused on was carbohydrate again but this time in the form of quick-release sugar to support efficient glycogen repletion IMMEDIATELY post training
The key nutrients in cinnamon that we highlighted were the phytonutrients known to help alleviate many digestive symptoms including flatulence and constipation….which many runners suffer from.
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. If this is your first visit to She Runs Eats Performs please check out our short Welcome Trailer.
We’d love you to join us on She Eats Runs Performs, please tell all your running friends that the show is available to listen to for free.
Our final message is don’t let nutrition be the limiting factor in your running performance so please join us on She Eats Runs Performs, and let us know if there are any topics you’d like us to cover.
Aileen and Karen xx