Foods to Add to Your Runner’s Diet

indexThis morning I headed out for an early morning run and finally felt a nip in the air. I must awake early enough to get it, as the daytime still lingers with an extra touch of heat. But I loved zipping up a running jacket and actually shedding it at some point on the run–usually I’m hot even starting the run. It’s the time of year when I also love to change up my diet with new flavors and foods. I found some good alternatives for runners this autumn season:

1. Parsnips
While you normally see pumpkin splashed across all the restaurant menus this time of year, aim to incorporate parsnips into your diet as an alternative vegetable to mix it up. Parsnips contain a healthy dosing of potassium–one of the most vital nutrients for runners. They help with cramping and add fiber into your diet, making your digestive organs work properly (and we all know the challenges when those organs don’t work).

2. Squash
If you have a sweet tooth, try switching out the standard pumpkin pie for squash pie. Squash is low in calorie and can be stored for a long time. If you want a healthy dessert, bake squash until its really tender and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

3. Pumpkin
If you can’t ignore pumpkin and tried the previous two options, head right back to this fall staple. It’s also rich in potassium for runners. Even the seeds are good for roasting and could work as an alternative for nutrition when out on a trail run.

4. Dates
Sweet and juicy, these can be mixed with nuts to create your own running trail mix.

5. Kiwis
While the autumn typically focuses on vegetables, some fruits are harvested during this time. Kiwis are in abundance from September through March and can be used in your morning green juices for tartness.