12 Runners Superfoods: Energy

Make your running fuel work harder for you with this selection of tasty everyday combos



running energy

Energy with benefits

“No nutrient works in isolation: think about your diet as a whole in terms of the way each nutrient functions with its co-factors to promote absorption and utilisation,” says The Food Doctor, Ian Marber, author of Supereating (£12.99, Alhambra House).

Pasta + Spinach = Ditch your Belly + Energy Boost

Wholewheat pasta is rich in energy-boosting vitamin B1 to power you through fat-burning workouts. This vitamin plays a vital role in metabolising sugars and, crucially, fat. Magnesium – found in green leafy veg, especially spinach – paves the way for B1 to be used in several key reactions, leaving you with more energy and less ‘drag’ round the middle.

Try this: ‘Pesto-esque’ pasta
Cook 200g of pasta, drain, and mix in bagged spinach. Once wilted, top with pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan.

Peppers + Lemon = Cold-Free Winters + More Energy

A red pepper provides nearly three times as much vitamin C as an orange, helping to bolster your immune system. Combine that pepper punch with the bioflavonoids found in citrus fruit to maximise the amount of vitamin C your body can absorb.

Try this: Lemon rice-stuffed peppers
Boil 185g of brown rice with a quartered lemon for seven minutes. Use to stuff two halved, deseeded peppers, top with cheese and roast for 10 minutes.

Eggs + Chickpeas = Better Recovery + Muscle Endurance

Vitamin B2 works with iron in the formation of red blood cells, giving muscles a more efficient delivery system of nutrients and oxygen. Eggs are a great source of B2, while chickpeas will help you meet your daily iron quota.  

Try this: Eggs in purgatory
Fry one chopped onion and a garlic clove. Add chickpeas and a tin of tomatoes, and heat. Make two wells with a ladle, crack in the eggs, cover and cook.

Kale + Lemon = Immune Boost + Stamina

Iron, from the kale, is vital for enabling your red blood cells to carry oxygen to your muscles. The vitamin C in lemon converts plant-based iron into a form similar to that found in fish or red meat, which is easier for your body to absorb.

Try this: Kale and broccoli stir-fry
In 30ml of olive oil, stir-fry seven sliced garlic cloves, a chopped red chilli, broccoli, kale, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and pepper.

Tomato + Avacado = DNA Repair + Fast Recovery

Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant 100 times more powerful than vitamin E. That power is put to use in your body in repairing DNA damage caused by pollution, intense training and everything else everyday life throws at you. And the avocado? Your body absorbs lycopene better when eaten with some fat, and avocado is oozing with the good, heart-healthy unsaturated variety.

Try this: ’Tomocado’ bruschetta
Mix 45ml of olive oil, 150g of cherry tomatoes, some ripped basil leaves and salt and pepper, then leave to infuse. Slice a ciabatta loaf lengthways, rub with a garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil and toast in a frying pan. Layer sliced avocado and the tomato mix on top and serve with flamboyant southern Mediterranean hand gestures.


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Discuss this article

Hi all. I am taking part in my first ever Run soon. The Manchester 10k run. I am 44yrs old and new to the running scene. I would love some advice on the correct foods/drinks to eat/drink prior to the run.

 Regards 


Posted: 26/04/2012 at 21:36

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