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(BPT) - As marathon season approaches, many people are focused on training. Building up endurance is key, but you can't do that without the fuel your body needs. Wholesome energy-boosting snacks are essential for keeping up the pace, whether you're focused on a 5K or full marathon.
There are a variety of runs across the country to suit every type of runner. Fun runs vary in size and can be found in communities from coast to coast. Themed runs are also plentiful.
Whether you're a new or experienced runner, completing your goal will make you feel accomplished. To help your body feel and perform at its best, you need to give it the right foods. These smart, tasty snacks will help give you sustained energy with loads of nutrients important to any fitness practice.
Bananas: The cheerful color and built-in packaging are just the start. Bananas are a good source of potassium, which helps prevent cramping. Plus, they are a wonderful source of natural sugars (the good kind) and carbohydrates, which help provide sustained energy. It's a common misconception that bananas aren't as healthy due to the higher sugar content; however, the natural sugars in bananas come with fiber, which slows digestion and gives the body time to use it as fuel instead of storing it as fat. Grab a bunch of Chiquita bananas at the store and you have a convenient pre-workout snack or perfect addition to your recovery shake.
Cottage cheese: Scoop up some of this white wonder and enjoy with your favorite fruit or a sprinkle of your preferred herbs. You can also add a satisfying crunch by sprinkling in omega-rich cashews or almonds. Cottage cheese is packed with protein, so it helps you feel full longer, essential for long runs (or simply long days full of to-dos). For fitness folks, this protein helps assist in rebuilding and repair of muscles during training periods.
Smoothies: Refreshing, energizing and perfectly customizable, smoothies feel more like a treat than a healthy snack. Yet these cold concoctions are perfect as pre- or post-workout foods or even as a meal replacement when on the go. You can use milk or juice as a liquid base and then add in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables as desired. For a lip-smacking smoothie with just four ingredients, follow this recipe:
Quick Protein Power Chiquita Banana Smoothie
1 whole Chiquita Banana, sliced
1.5 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt
1/8 cup fresh pineapple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Makes one serving.
Edamame: More than just a delicious appetizer at your favorite sushi joint, edamame is an ideal workout snack. The tasty green soybeans you pluck from the pod are a good source of protein, iron and B vitamins. What's more, the heart-healthy isoflavones support bone health. So dig in and enjoy with a dash of sea salt and a big glass of water. It's perfect when you're craving a salty snack so you can avoid the junk.
Chocolate milk: If you don't run, you probably think chocolate milk is just for kids. In reality, chocolate milk has almost a cult-like following in the endurance sports world. It's rich in calcium to keep bones strong, particularly important for runners. Plus it has protein and carbohydrates to keep you fueled. Reward yourself with this sweet treat after a run and you'll feel satisfied all around.
With these snacking tips top of mind, you’ll be fueled and feeling your best to start aiming for your personal records!