Q Are there any foods I can try for a better night's sleep after training in the evening?
Running in the evening, within three hours of bedtime, can make it harder to sleep because exercise stimulates you and raises your body's temperature, which needs to fall before you sleep.
Choosing the right foods to eat after your evening run will help you to sleep better and promote effective recovery from training. Foods containing tryptophan are thought to promote sleep because this amino acid is used to make serotonin in the body, a sleep-inducing substance.
The best evening meals to eat to promote sleep are those that are carbohydrate-rich (carbs promote absorption of tryptophan into the brain) with a small amount of protein. Good dinners for promoting sleep include pasta with Parmesan or cottage cheese, seafood, meats and poultry with veggies, and tuna salad with rice. A light meal will give you a more restful night's sleep. High-fat meals and large servings increase the work your digestive system needs to do, which can lead to poorer sleep quality. Avoid spicy foods and also caffeinated drinks.
A snack an hour before bed may promote sleepiness. Try whole-grain cereals with milk, a glass of warm milk and honey or a peanut butter sandwich.
Carrie Bolt, runner and nutritionist