There’s a reason the date plant represented victory in ancient Rome. But dates -- cultivated since 7,000 BC -- are also high in potassium, that magic mineral-electrolyte combo for keeping muscles in top working order. Throw in a significant concentration of antioxidants, and you’ve got yourself a superfood.
Not only do almonds pack a big punch of magnesium for keeping bones happy -- we’re looking at you, shin-splint sufferers -- it offers seven grams of protein per serving. This supercharges the recovery process while helping stave off junk-food cravings post-run.
Thiamine is your new best friend, and cashews will get you acquainted. Also known as B1, this vitamin is invaluable for converting last night’s pasta into energy for today’s run. Research also indicates cashews help keep pre-race jitters at bay -- they contribute to a good night’s sleep and release feel-good chemicals, like serotonin, in the brain.
For runners, cherries are, well, the cherry on top of a healthy diet. Studies show they prevent muscle soreness and even damage after a particularly tough workout. They’re also the most antioxidant-rich food on planet earth – in other words: kryptonite for cancer.
In Latin, the name of this seed translates to “food of the Gods,” and for good reason -- the myriad benefits include better cardiovascular and digestive functioning, and reduced anxiety. According to Harvard researchers, one main compound in cocoa – epicatechin – is so important to public health, it rivals both penicillin and anesthesia.
Sure, they famously power the planet’s most impressive super runners -- including Mexico’s Tarahumara Indian tribe -- but chia seeds should also be a staple of the recreational running set. This is one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth -- think vitamins, minerals and more Omega-3s than salmon. The result? More energy, less dehydration, and fewer post-run pains.
Inflammation may be the body’s way of dealing with the aches and irritations endured while running, but too much can lead to disease, arthritis and other conditions. The fix? Blueberries -- a science-tested secret weapon for battling inflammation and boosting immunity.
While the body makes some of its own lecithin, a fatty substance vital to every cell in the human body, we need more to reap the full benefit. Enter sunflower lecithin, which breaks down excess fat, strengthens the heart, and aids in muscle conditioning. The development of new brain cells? That’s just a bonus.
Chicory root fiber
This plant-based, fiber-rich, earthy-flavored carbohydrate helps you feel satiated faster, so it’s a great tool for maintaining a healthy weight. It’s also ideal for nourishing the gut’s healthy bacteria. Plus, it imparts a sweet taste, no added sugar necessary.
Himalayan pink salt
Because it was protected by cooled pools of lava deep within the Himalayn mountain range where it formed hundreds of millions of years ago, Himalayan pink salt is the purest on earth. It supports more than 80 minerals and elements, all working together to create electrolyte balance within the body. Goodbye, muscle cramping. Hello, hydration.