Fueling, Naturally

By Deacon Carpenter

A few weeks ago, I ran my first half marathon with my close friend, Meghan. It has been one of my goals for a couple of years, so I'd been training for a few months leading up to the race; working on my distance, getting my pace down, and eating foods, which helpg give me the fuel to complete the task.

As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I know a thing or two about food. Ayurveda is the medical practice to Yoga, which essentially focuses on food and herbal therapies to prevent disease and keep us healthy. In my practice, I work with athletes who want to maintain their bodies, give them an edge when they compete and provide them with higher-quality options over the options of high-performance foods engineered for their sport.

If you are an athlete, you’re already familiar with the high-performance and engineered foods on the market, unfortunately, I wasn’t. Meghan and I were running a pretty good pace – 8:30, and at mile 6, I decided to pop a Gu to see if it would enhance my performance, but by mile 8, my stomach was in knots.

If you are looking for a more natural approach to your training program, or are looking for a healthier Gu when you are competing, I have a few suggestions.

--Keep your metabolism going: eating moderate sized meals every three hours will help moderate your digestive fire running optimally. This will prevent you from becoming ‘Hangry’ (angry because you’re hungry) and will keep you from your blood sugar dropping through the floor.
--At race day, fuel up on foods which are easily digested, and will give you the fuel to get through the beginning and middle of your race. I recommend dry-roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds mixed with dates and raisins. You can also add dry roasted almonds to the mix as well.
--When it comes to Gu’s, try to find the ones without caffeine – although this sounds like a great idea when you grab it, it’s not sustainable – your body needs calories and electrolytes to help you power through your race, and keep your muscles functioning properly.

For more information on Ayurveda or to understand what foods are best for your body type, visit www.dailyveda.com

Deacon founded Daily Veda after working in Global Advertising for 16 yrs. He practices yoga, runs and promotes healthy living through natural eating and Ayurvedic medicine. He's a wealth of knowledge and fun.