Hydration for Runners

Marathon Hamburg 2006Did you hear what happened at the London Marathon this weekend? Someone passed away three miles from the finish line due to cardiac arrest, and another runner had difficulty with hyponatremia–a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is too low.

With the weather getting sunnier, it’s important to keep hydration top of mind. You don’t want to face all the challenges stemming from lack of H20 and electrolytes in the body from working out. Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Carry a water bottle with you at all times. You should aim for 60 ounces of water every day. I have friends that try to reach 70 ounces and noticed a big change in energy when they did this. It’s tough to do, but you can try.

I personally don’t like the taste of water. I find it bland and force myself to drink it. I’ve had better luck adding in fresh, cut up fruit and vegetables to water, such as sliced lemons, raspberries and cut up cucumbers. You can purchase water bottles in which you can infuse fruits and veggies for a more creative flavor profile.

2. For coffee and soda drinkers: For each cup of coffee and can of soda, drink eight ounces of water to even it out.

3. Try to drink a glass of water before each meal. This will help you feel full AND get you better hydrated.

4. Drink a glass of water with each meal to help with digestion. Try to stay away from ordering anything but water at restaurants–and this helps save money, too.

5. Watch your urine. You should strive for a light yellow color. This is especially important after you work out. You might notice a dark color and should immediately begin replenishing the liquid lost.

Staying hydrated will help you with energy, maintaining weight and your ability to run as hard as possible.

Boston Marathon

200px-BostonmarathonlogoToday is the biggest day for long-distance runners with the Boston Marathon. Ethiopian runners took the top places: Lemi Berhanu Hayle and Atsede Baysa won the men’s and women’s titles.

Here are some of the Boston Marathon tweets:


SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Honored to start wheelchair division of again. Best of luck to all the competitors!

Of the 30,000 runners in the today, nearly half are women. 💪🏾


When You Get Injured from Running

ankle sprain, painRunning is a demanding workout. It involves much demand on your joints and is a high-impact workout. You engage all muscles in your legs, use your core and swing your arms–all while running on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt. Running for long periods of time can also build up lactic acid and cause injuries. As a running enthusiast, it is often frustrating to deal with downtime. Yet, it’s necessary. How do you deal when you just want to lace up the shoes and get out of the house? Here are a few ways:

Get your sleep. Especially in the summer, many runners often arise before most to get in a good run before the heat hits. When you are injured, sleep through the alarm and get a good eight hours or more of sleep. Your body needs that recharge to heal itself and sleep is the best way to do it. You aren’t engaging any muscles and it won’t cause any further strain. It’s an excuse to get a little extra shut eye that you most likely need.

**It’s also a good idea to invest in black out coverings for your windows, especially in the summertime when the sun rises earlier. This keeps your body from naturally waking up when the sun rises.**

Take time off. You can do what’s called “active resting.” You don’t have to completely sit on a couch and watch television. You can do some stretching or yoga or light exercise. If the injury is severe, be sure to consult a physician.

Work on anti-inflammation. Use ice to combat the pain and even try alternating heat with ice to shock the body. Also, take anti-inflammatory medicine like Ibuprofen and eat anti-inflammatory foods like vegetables and fish.

Don’t push your body and don’t be the hero. Even type-A personalities must stop and take time off. If you just finished a marathon and are very sore, it’s not right to come immediately back. You may think you look cool and hard core, but you’re really just doing long-term damage.



Healthy Eating Habits

 Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In 2012, I was diagnosed with prediabetes. I run, I try to stay healthy and I maintain a low BMI. I didn’t think I would be a candidate for prediabetes, let alone stand on the verge of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

But every year I get tested and every year for the past four years, I fall into the prediabetes category. Turns out, I am not alone. In fact, almost one out of three Americans have prediabetes and only 10 percent know about it. I did learn some healthy eating habits to share with you:

For every meal and snack, eat a variety of food groups. I used to eat an apple for a snack, but I should do more. A nutritionist suggested adding in two to three food groups each time you eat. For example, instead of only an apple, get a wheat cracker, smear peanut butter on it and add a slice of an apple. This gives you fiber, protein and a fruit.

Eat colorful vegetables. This nutritionist suggested concentrating on dark green and orange vegetables. I’ve never heard this before, but apparently orange vegetables offer contain beta-carotene, which is great for eyesight and eliminating free radicals–important for diabetics. I am now incorporating orange bell peppers and sweet potatoes into my meals. And sometimes eating pumpkin pie with no guilt.

Avoid fruit juice. You’ll find too many added preservatives.

Choose proteins labeled 92% lean/8% fat ground meat. Use leaner cuts of meat such as pork loin, tenderloin, top round and chuck roasts.

Try to avoid grains labeled multi-grain, stone ground and seven grain.

Use this method for oils:

Good oils: liquid at room temperature, i.e., olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil

Bad oils: Solid at room temperature, i.e., butter

Try one new grain per week to add variety to your diet. For me, I’ve found I like quinoa and add roasted veggies to it.