From the June 2012 issue of Runner’s World
It's okay to have a pre-run nibble to get you through your workout
By Jessica Girdwain
“The right snack can avoid hunger pangs, prevent premature fatigue on a run and keep blood-sugar levels steady,” says sports dietitian Anthony Meade, APD. He recommends eating as much as 30 to 60 grams if you have an hour or more to digest.
HOMMUS AND CARROTS
This protein-and-carb combination will help keep you satisfied during long runs. The sodium in hommus will make you thirsty for a few extra sips of H20. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, and according to a study review published in 2010 in the journal Nutrients, eating carotenoid-packed fruits and vegetables may help defend skin against sun damage – good news for midday runners.
Pick up handy single-serve cups, like Copperpot Mini Heavenly Hommus. A few wholegrain crackers or a pita are other smart dunkables.
A good source of whole grains, “porridge is great for longer runs because it fills a hole without feeling heavy,” says Meade. The instant variety is convenient when you can’t make it from scratch; plus, one pack supplies 40 per cent of your daily need for iron.
Plain instant oats are the best choice, but it’s also okay to go with sweetened varieties when you’re clocking longer runs – the extra sugar will provide quickly absorbed fuel.
High in carbs, sweet spuds provide long-lasting energy for your run, says Meade. One has 230 per cent of your daily need for vitamin A, key for a strong immune system. The skin contains soluble fibre, which, according to a study in Obesity, can help reduce belly fat when paired with exercise. But if you eat it, give yourself an hour or more to digest before running.
Microwave a small sweet potato at home, wrap it up, and take to work. Reheat in a microwave. “It’s also just as tasty cold in salad,” says Meade.
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