‘Tis the season for dark mornings, dark evenings, and grey days in between, with sleet, snow, and rain trying to prevent us from sticking to our training plans. But even if you’re one of the brave ones – a runner who dares to take on the elements, full of grit and determination – you’ll still have days when you just don’t feel like stepping into the cold darkness. And that’s when it can be good to give yourself a little boost – nutritionally, that is.
Here are some foods to include in your diet that will give you extra energy for those horrid winter days:
- Spinach: Spinach has both iron and Vitamin B6, as well as other B complex vitamins like riboflavin and folate, all of which are essential for boosting and maintaining energy levels.
- Eggs: Eggs are rich in Vitamin D – a vitamin lacking in the short and dark winter days that is essential for strong bones, immune function, and muscle recovery after exercise.
- Avocados: Vitamin E is plentiful in avocados, keeping your immune system strong. Avocados also have lots of monounsaturated fats – aka the “good” fats – which can lower blood pressure, helping you to stay relaxed and positive even as the weather gets worse.
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts are rich in magnesium – a mineral used by athletes to increase energy and endurance that helps to keep many of the essential chemical reactions in your body firing properly.
- Coconut: Coconut is an excellent source of medium-chain triglycerides, (MCTs), which are fats that give you a quick energy boost and lasting energy for several hours. Try adding coconut oil to foods or even warm drinks, or cooking with coconut milk, to get a nice buzz without the crash of sugar or caffeine.
- Dark chocolate: Staying positive is key to training throughout the winter, and the mood-boosting caffeine and theobromine in a bit of dark chocolate can be a delicious way to brighten a dreary day.
What are your favorite foods to keep training through the winter?
Written by Varia Makagonova.