It is important for runners to stay hydrated during their workouts in order to prevent injuries and heat-related illness. Nevertheless, drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated this summer.
Many fruits and vegetables contain high levels of water and also have the benefit of containing healthy vitamins and minerals. By incorporating them into your daily diet, you will maintain proper hydration and increase your nutrient intake which can boost your performance while exercising and improve your general health.
Cantaloupe, peaches, and strawberries are high in water and rich in potassium (an electrolyte which is lost in sweat). Potassium acts to regulate your heart rate and circulation. One cup of each contains between 5 and 10 percent of your daily needs. Unique ways to incorporate them into your diet are to add strawberries to guacamole or blend together peaches, cantaloupe, peach nectar, lime juice and sea salt for a cool soup.
Tomatoes are high in lycopene which is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of several cancers, including lung, prostate, breast, colon, and cervical. A unique way to incorporate them into your diet is to skewer cherry tomatoes and grill them until lightly charred. Add mozzarella balls, balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil.
Broccoli is over 90% water and contains isothiocyanates which have been shown to block a defective gene that causes cells to become cancerous. Broccoli tastes great when stir fried with grated ginger and mixed with minced grapes and sunflower seeds.
Pineapples contain an enzyme known as bromelain which helps to reduce inflammation and speed up muscle repair. Skewered pineapple with chicken and bell peppers, brushed with teriyaki sauce and grilled is a great way to incorporate them into your diet.
Cherries contain anthocyanins and melatonin which both help to reduce inflammation. Many people enjoy minced cherries mixed with Dijon mustard.
Integrating these foods, or increasing your current intake levels of these foods, may effectively reduce the likelihood of running injuries and heat-related illness and ultimately, help you get more out of your runs.
As a runner, Dr. Max is familiar with the symptoms and treatment methods for running injuries. If you are suffering from a running injury, call Dr. Max at Irving Park Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment, (773) 880-0880.