day 24 Cool Summer Soups and other ways to fuel a run

There’s a saying that you can’t outrun a bad diet. That means that no amount of exercise will keep you thin or keep you healthy if your diet is poor. Eventually, a poor diet will affect your exercise, too.

This doesn’t mean exercise is unimportant. Exercise often is the thing that motivates us to eat well. We feel good because we’re exercising so we want to keep doing good things for ourselves. There are times I decide not to eat something that I know my body doesn’t like because I’m planning a run for the next day and I don’t want to deal with the negative effects of not having fueled myself well. 

Exercise is extremely important to good health. It isn’t less important than good nutrition. That saying -- that we can’t outrun a poor diet -- just means that nutrition is more than calories in and calories out. It’s not about the quantity of calories but the quality of those calories. 

According to this article in Runner’s World, these foods below interfere with a body’s ability to heal optimally.

ALCOHOL
Studies show that consuming alcohol after an injury reduces your muscles' protein-building ability, leading to more severe muscle atrophy.

SUGAR
While healing from an injury, your body isn't as efficient at processing sugary carbs, which may raise circulating levels of fat in your blood.

FRIED AND FATTY SNACKS
These foods contain oils high in omega-6 fatty acids (which can increase inflammation) and few omega-3s, which help with healing.

For muscles to recover well from exercise, we need hydration. This article explains why. 

Most sources are going to discuss how much water to drink. The other way to work with this is to eat our water. 

This Runner’s World article includes yummy ideas. Leslie Goldman writes, “Toss strawberries into guacamole. Or make a cool soup: Blend together peaches, cantaloupe, peach nectar, lime juice, and sea salt, says culinary nutritionist Jackie Newgent, R.D.” A cool summer soup -- that’s brilliant. 

Here’s a lovely article about cool summer soups. Here’s another one that includes links to recipes that don’t need any cooking at all.

Other suggestions from that Runner’s World article include adding grapefruit to a stir fry or “combine kiwi with greens, avocado, pistachios, and onion.”

If your healing is going slowly, or you're stuck, see what happens for you if you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and decrease some of the more intense foods that may be undermining your healing efforts. 

If you’re looking for maximum performance, if you’re very active in summer, see what happens for you if you pay special attention to how much water you’re getting in your food. 

And if you’re feeling a bit bored with your meals, try some unexpected combinations, like those strawberries in your guac, grapefruit in your stirfry, or experimenting with cool summer soups.