It probably a bit obvious that blueberries and other berries are really good for runners to eat. They’re great alone, with meals, or even in meals (check out these great recipes on Driscolls.com, they look amazing)! So even though we all know berries are great, it never hurts to learn exactly how they can help, when to eat them, and in what quantities.
Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., L.D., was kind enough to pass on this knowledge and explain why berries, especially blueberries, should be on every runner’s shopping list when they go to the grocery store:
1. Why are blueberries beneficial for runners?
Blueberries have incredible anti-inflammatory properties, making them an exceptional food choice for runners. Anti-inflammatory foods keep the gut healthy and provide antioxidants for muscles that are stressed during exercise.
2. What can runners get from blueberries, that they can’t get from other types of fruit
Multiple small meals should be part any athlete’s lifestyle, and including foods like blueberries on a daily basis will improve the body’s ability to combat free radical injury. Any endurance activity will produce free radicals, so blueberry consumption will help reduce their production along with the development of lactic acid buildup.
3. When is the best time for runners to eat blueberries? Pre or pos-workout?
Blueberries are an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet, but the benefits of this diet may take years to become evident; however, a runner can begin noticing benefits during training and racing if blueberries are enjoyed before, during and after races. They are easy to digest, quickly absorbed and replenish needed vitamins, amino acids and micronutrients. They are a superb, lightweight source of carbs before a run, and combined with whey protein in a shake within 30 minutes post-run, they can quickly replenish glycogen stores and protein.
4. What are some of the best types of foods/meals that runners can make with blueberries?
Driscolls.com should be in every runner’s browser. In their recipe file, runners will find a host of recipes that will quiet the gut, increase speed, enhance health and just taste really, really good! I’d recommend trying the Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Cereal, Carribean Raspberry Avocado Salad, Turkey Berry Spring Rolls, Blueberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken and Strawberry Almond Smoothie … for starters!
5. How many blueberries should runners eat a day/week?
In addition to their powerful antioxidant protection, blueberries can promote faster restoration of visual clarity after exposure to glare – something very important for runners. This little berry may also improve motor skills and helpreduce the risk of infection. To reap all these benefits, try to consume one-half cup to one cup of blueberries each day.