We asked Loni Markman, an Integrative Nutitrion Coach, what snacks she recommends to her busy, athletic clients. Check out her Top 5 Power Foods.
As runners, I am sure you are thrilled about the early Spring weather we are having here in NYC. I bet this means you are spending more time out running more and looking for the right foods to help fuel your run. As an athlete, your approach to nutritional can mean the difference between peak performance and sub-optimal energy and recovery. I am often asked which energy bars or protein shake is best for my workout. Well, my answer is usually none. Turning to “power” snacks is essential but we have to make sure they are not packed with sugar and limited in nutrients. Below is a list of my top 5 power foods to help you run faster and further and ease the recovery process.
1. Acai – Acai (ah-sigh-ee) is a tiny berry that is found in the Brazilian rainforests and has been used for centuries as medicine with the local tribes. It became popular through martial arts and was brought to the states in 2000 by surfers who used it in Brazil to support their intense workouts. Recent studies have found that the Acai is one of the most powerful foods in the world. The acai berry packed with antioxidants, has a nearly perfect amino acid complex to support muscle contraction and ease joint pain, has healthy fats to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health plus it increases energy levels and speed up metabolism. Thus making it a nearly perfect food to support your running.
HOW TO EAT IT: You can have it for breakfast in an Acai Bowl or add it to your smoothies and drink it on the go.
2. Quinoa - We all know your need to increase your carbs for your runs but you certainly do not need to turn to pasta or processed carbs for your fuel. Enter in my favorite superfood for super energy, Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa). Quinoa is an ancient grain (it actually falls more into the greens family but that is for another blog post) that originated in South America and brings to the table a gluten free complex carbohydrate that is packed with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium all essential nutrients for runners.
HOW TO EAT: Quinoa is quick and easy to make. You can enjoy it sweet for breakfast or as a savory side dish. Click here for some recipes. http://elementsoffit.com/recipes/quinoa/
3. Green Smoothies – It’s just like a fruit smoothies but packed with the nutritional powerhouse that greens offer us. These easy to make or buy smoothies are a healthy alternative to all those energy drinks out there and can really make a difference to your recovery and performance. Greens have more vitamin and minerals than any other food out there plus they contain chlorophyll, which helps promote and carry oxygen in the body.
HOW TO EAT: Green smoothies serve as a great mid-afternoon pick me up or breakfast. The basic recipe is 2 cups of greens, 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of filtered water blended in the blender and enjoyed!
4. Bananas – Now I know you probably already know this one but being that it is one of the easiest on the go grabs I had to include the potassium packed banana. They didn’t only make my top five because all that potassium helps prevent muscle cramps but they are super easy to digest and will give you the energy you need to sustain a good run.
5. Coconut water - As you know hydration is key when running and getting a good sweat and coconut water, not Gatorade, should be your answer to replenish your electrolyte levels. Coconut water is natural and not filled with sugars and artificial coloring and sweeteners like so many other electrolyte drinks on the market. Why should you love it? Because it is rich in 5 essential electrolytes, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. These electrolytes are critical to proper recovery after you run or workout, making coconut water one of the best runners’ recovery drinks available today
Loni Markman is not your typical Nutrition Consultant! Loni has been working in the field of wellness for almost a decade, helping clients find nourishment and balance in their everyday lives. She focuses on self love, weight management, pre and post natal and general women’s health. She has a true passion for educating and inspiring others on their journey to better heath.
Loni holds a Masters Degree in Health, a Bachelors in Business, a Certification as a Holistic Health Counselor from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a Certification in the Psychology of Eating with Marc David, she holds a Certification from Power Pilates and has extensive studies in Emotional Freedom Technique. All of which she infuses into her integrative coaching with clients. You can learn more about Loni on her websites –www.elementsoffit.com and www.positivebodyprogram.com.