Recover from high volume running training with these simple natural foods
Training for a half marathon can leave you stiff, sore, and swollen. Did you know you can use foods to bring down inflammation? Here’s how to use nutrition as part of your recovery strategies.
Inflammation in the body can cause a lot of the soreness you feel during a half marathon training plan. It’s not just inflammation in the joints. Inflammation can be on a cellular level, affecting how your body feels, moves, and functions.
Your go-to remedies for inflammation might be ice, compression, stretching, or a gentle massage. These are all great ideas. But what about food and supplements?
Here are 3 ways to minimise inflammation – from the inside out.
#1 Fatty acids
Omega 3 oils (in fish oil supplements, or in oily fish) can help your body deal with inflammation, and will also give your immune system a boost. Ideal for keeping you fit and healthy when the mileage starts to get heavy.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy group of essential polyunsaturated fats that reduce inflammation and help keep our hearts, brains and joints healthy.
Ideally, you’d eat 1-2 servings of oily fish per week. But if you can’t do that (or don’t like the taste), choose a quality omega 3 supplement. Look for the dosage of DHA and EPA fatty acids – there the ones that matter. A good dose is 3,000mg omega 3 oil per day, of which 990mg should be EPA and 660mg should be DHA.
Vegan? You can still get those all-important omega 3 fatty acids – from flax oil or flax seeds. Add flax to your food (it goes well with porridge or in smoothies) or look for a quality vegan omega 3 daily supplement. Pumpkin seeds and walnuts are also a good vegan source of omega 3 fats.
Turmeric is valuable for much more than its jolly yellow colour! The active ingredient – called curcumin – is a powerful anti oxidant and anti inflammatory. Turmeric also contains Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and Coenzyme Q10, which you might recognise as anti oxidants. Add turmeric powder to your foods, or take a turmeric/curcumin supplement. It’s a cheap and simple way to help your body fight inflammation.
Turmeric pairs well with other powerful natural anti inflammatories like ginger, garlic, and leafy greens. Try a homemade curry to harness the benefits plus get a tasty meal! Medicine never tasted this good.
#3 Tart Cherries
There’s been a lot of research into tart cherries recently (hint: they’re different to regular cherries!) and plenty of athletes are using tart cherry juice as a legit part of their recovery strategy. It can be useful for joint pain and stiffness, and can boost muscle repair. The secret is anthocyanins which help block inflammation.
Enjoy the juice, use tart cherry or Montmorency cherry powder, or take a capsule if that’s easier.