3 Nutrition Tips for 5K Training

Last week we focused on 5 basic training tips to get you on the right path for our Run for Hope 5K on May 2, 2015 and now we are on to nutrition tips that will keep your body healthy! Be sure to register for the Run for Hope 5K at by February 28 and save! Click here to learn more about the race and our race beneficiary.

1. Drink up.

We all know that drinking enough fluids daily is important to stay hydrated and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It becomes even more crucial when preparing for a 5K race. However, how much should you drink daily? It’s important to drink half your weight in ounces daily and drinking water provides the best hydration without the unnecessary sugar and chemicals that some sports drinks have. If you find water boring and flavorless, add some natural fruit flavor to it by trying our Fresh Foods Educator’s Strawberry Lemon Water recipe.  If you are looking to refuel to replace lost electrolytes and minerals, try making your own natural, chemical-free electrolyte drink by blending 2 bananas, 3 cups of coconut milk, 2 cups of strawberries, 1 cup of ice and water, 1 teaspoon of salt and juice from one half of a lemon. However, if you don’t have time to make your own, try  Aspire Sports drinks (available at Valley Natural Foods), as they are free of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, caffeine and preservatives, while also being chock full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Also, remember to drink at least 16 ounces of water an hour before you run!

2. Eat real food.

Especially if you are training for a 5K, it’s important to eat a balanced variety of healthy whole foods daily, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and items high in protein such as lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes, and nuts. If you have dairy allergies, there are many dairy alternatives including almond, rice, coconut, and soy milk. If you have a question about how much of each item you should include in your diet to address specific health needs, call 952-891-1212 ext 221 to schedule a 20-minute appointment on Monday or Wednesday evenings with our Registered Nurse Eileen Johnson for some nutrition advice.  Avoid relying on highly processed foods that contain refined sugars and preservatives such as energy bars, candy, performance gels and some energy drinks. These food items will deplete your energy instead of restoring it and they are tough on your digestive system.

3. Keep it simple before your run or workout.

Right before your workout or before you run, you don’t want to be shut down with stomach problems so it is crucial to keep what you put in your body simple. This means to eat carbohydrates that will give you sustained energy and endurance in the hours before your workout. These foods include bananas, bagels, yogurt, and oatmeal. Try our Fresh Foods Educator’s Wheat Berry Breakfast Parfait for a great way to add some simple pizzazz to Greek yogurt! Don’t try to eat too much fat, fiber, or protein or this may actually cause unpleasant digestive issues.

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