Snacking is an art that needs to be developed and refined with runners. Some runners think they can eat whatever they want and justify poor caloric choices with “oh, I ran 8 miles today or I workout 6 days a week.” I am just as guilty as the next girl to indulge in one too many chocolates or Dr. Pepper, but a poor choice is a poor choice. I need alternatives to the candy in my boss’ office or a Sonic Happy Hour DP after a long day at school.
In last week’s post from the Runner’s World article on Marathon Chefs, I found 5 new snacks.
- Dark Chocolate :: Benefits- enhances artery dilation, triggers blood vessels to release nitric oxide which relaxes nearby muscle fibers. Try to choose chocolates that are less processed as it is a plant based food. I will gladly try out different brands and add dark chocolate to my grocery list. Check out the article, “Is Chocolate Really Good For You?” and the sources listed at the bottom of the article.
- Dried Papaya :: Benefits- Quick and easy way of adding fruits,vitamins, and minerals to your diet. It is packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Dried fruits are best when done by yourself with a food dehydrator. I do not have one, so I try to buy dried fruits with no added sugar or only with added fruit juices for the sugar. Watch out for high fructose corn syrup, companies try to market dried fruits as nutritional foods, but we all know that HFCS is a far cry from healthy. Check out these articles from the LiveStrong foundation on dried fruit benefits and dried fruit nutrition. LiveStrong has tons of articles on its website, look to the right of the screen for related links.
- Pumpkin Seeds :: Benefit- Contains selenium, which helps protect muscle cells from oxidative damage. Check out these articles on “Adding Seeds to your Diet” and Power Trail Mix Recipe
- Pretzels :: Benefit- Calcium, B vitamins, Folic Acid, replace lost salt, and adding carbs. They are low in fat but watch out for corn syrup found in Rold Gold. Check out more from LiveStrong on nutrition info on Rold Gold, Snyder, Snyder of Hanover… tons of others from choc covered, yogurt covered, gourmet, mini, wheat twists. Find the articles on the right side of the screen on the Live Strong website.
- Trail Mix Nuts :: Benefits- Vitamin E for muscle recovery, protein, trace minerals, and antioxidants. Power Trail Mix recipe