Which foods negatively affect your running stamina?
A good diet and adequate exercise can help you improve your running stamina. There are mindboggling food options and opinions on what’s good and what’s not, so it’s easy to get confused about what advice to follow.
This post contains a few foods you should avoid because they reduce your running stamina.
9 Items to Avoid If Want to Boost Your Running Stamina
Many people labor under the false assumption that sugary foods help increase stamina while running. But, while sugary foods can give you a sugar rush, the energy spike lasts a short while, and before you know it, you are experiencing an intense ‘sugar crush.’ Even worse, some people get headaches and migraines after their sugar crush.
Also, your body takes considerable time to digest sugar. So, if you take too much before your run, the undigested bits might cause bloating, hindering your stamina.
Alcohol is one of the worst things you can consume before a run. For starters, even a small amount affects your muscle coordination and decreases the activation of your muscle fibers. In lay terms, you will need to exert yourself more but won’t have enough control of your muscles, which might lead to injury.
Secondly, alcohol causes severe dehydration that lasts through your race and for days after drinking. Thus, while alcohol may trick your subconscious mind into thinking you are energized and pumped up, it dramatically infringes on your stamina.
While milk is an excellent source of protein which all runners need in plenty, it’s not usually the best option. According to statistics, one in five people suffers from lactose intolerance. Therefore, although you might not be unaware that you are suffering from the disorder, dairy products will cause bloating and discomfort, reducing your stamina. Also, many dairy products contain unhealthy sugars or sweeteners.
Store-bought Frozen Meals
Frozen meals are many athletes’ or fitness gurus’ go-to snack/meal options. This is because they tend to be quick to consume or prepare. However, you must be very careful of the particular brand and food you pick up from the frozen section.
For store-bought meals to be safe to eat, the foods must have preservatives to prolong shelf life and freshness. The preservatives contain lots of sodium and fats, which causes bloating. Also, you can get more nutritious foods from elsewhere to give you the much-needed energy for running.
High Fiber Foods
Fiber-rich foods are undoubtedly great for any runner’s diet, considering they help keep you fuller for prolonged periods. However, that is precisely why you should avoid them before a run and eat them in moderation afterward.
Eating fiber-rich foods such as beans and lentils can cause an increase in gastrointestinal gas which leads to bloating and general tiredness. Also, they take a long time and body energy resources to be digested. Therefore, the energy is utilized in digestion instead the running.
Lastly, fiber-rich foods make your feel full even when you are not. So, use it in moderation because taking too much of them will prevent you from eating other foods that can help you increase your stamina.
Contrary to popular opinion, spicy foods are a no-go zone for runners, especially before workouts. People are always assuming that because spicy food quickens your metabolism, it means that it’s an excellent addition to your diet. But that isn’t true because, Capsaicin, the heating element in spicy food, also causes heartburn and indigestion.
Also, overeating Spicy food will cause severe irritation to your stomach and intestine lining, further causing gastrointestinal discomfort while running. So, save your spicy foods and treats for after a workout and ensure you have several hours to spare before your next run.
It’s in your best interest to avoid caffeinated products such as coffee or energy drinks if you are trying to improve your running stamina. While caffeine is a natural stimulant, it also has many adverse effects that are not good for your health.
Some of the disadvantages of caffeinated products include the following:
Specific doses of caffeine have a diuretic effect, which means they make you urinate more frequently, which causes dehydration.
Increased Heart Rate
Caffeine quickens your heart rate and increases your blood pressure. Keeping in mind that running also increases your cardiovascular activity, a combination of the two will result in your heart overworking, which can be catastrophic for people with heart problems.
Today, it’s almost impossible to avoid processed foods. However, ingesting various processed foods before a run will significantly infringe on your stamina. For example, if the processed food in question contains lots of additives or preservatives, then chances are that it will cause digestion problems.
Also, if the food contains a lot of salt, it will undoubtedly cause increased dehydration, which is a problematic state to be in a while running. Thus, it’s best to stick with natural foods before your run, as they don’t adversely affect your performance.
Eating fried foods is not a good idea if you are garnering to go for a run, mainly because the food is bound to have a lot of fat content. Fat foods inhibit your body’s ability to utilize glycogen, an essential energy source during a run. If your body can’t access it as quickly, then the chances of you reaching burnout prematurely significantly increase.
Fat needs more time to be digested compared to foods such as carbohydrates. Therefore, a high-fat meal will make you feel sluggish and cause gastrointestinal discomfort while running, inhibiting your stamina.
Diet is essential if you want to improve your stamina during runs. And eating some foods can make it extremely difficult for you to actualize your full potential. This article has touched on some of the foods to avoid. Consult your dietician on the foods that can help boost your stamina and a comprehensive workout diet plan.