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Health for Runners (Part 2)
Bone health is important at every age stage. Bones develop through childhood and our teenage years reaching peak bone mineral density by our late 20’s. Having good nutrition for bone health during those years is crucial. Most people are probably aware that BMD decreases with age from about 40 years old and especially during menopausal years, which may lead to Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. Often these conditions go undetected until someone has a fall/fracture.
A bone stress injury can stop a runner in her tracks and may even lead to a longer term injury, so looking after your bones as a runner is important for health and a long enjoyable running life.
In Episode 21, Bone Health for Runners (Part 1), we discussed what makes healthy bones, the causes of stress fractures in runners as well as an introduction into nutrition and lifestyle to support optimal bone health.
In this episode Bone Health for Runners (Part 2) we delve deeper into specific nutrients required for strong bones and discuss some lifestyle factors to also promote bone health. We highlight the key bone building nutrients, why we need them, their food sources, and how to maximise their bioavailability.
Specific nutrients addressed in this episode include:
- Vitamin D (and K2)
- Quick mention of omega 3 fatty acids and other important micronutrients
This episode also includes a Q&A section where questions received from Part 1 are answered.
A quick recap of the nutritional points discussed in Part 1
A quick look at Calcium and its many functions in the body before moving on to focus on its key role in bone health. Also, discussing some food sources in addition to dairy food, which is widely associated with its calcium content.
Thinking about calcium bioavailability i.e its absorption and availability to the body for use. Vitamin D comes in to play here.
Considering Vitamin D status as a means of supporting calcium bioavailability and optimizing bone health. Discussing its anti-inflammatory properties alongside its ability to absorb toxic substances in the absence of sufficient micronutrients in the diet. Dietary supplementation of Vitamin D also addressed here.
Moving on to discuss the importance of magnesium in forming the bone matrix and emphasising how magnesium and the other nutrients discussed work in synergy, not alone. Also, exploring the ratio of magnesium to calcium required in food and nutritional supplementation for optimal calcium function.
A quick shout out for Omega 3 FAs and other important trace minerals including: Boron, Manganese, Selenium and Copper.
Q&A section. Questions from Part 1 are answered here including topics such as:
- Getting sufficient bone specific minerals when following a dairy free diet
- Tea/coffee and bone health
- Phytoestrogenic foods and their links to bone health
- Nutrition to support bone healing following g a fracture or stress injury
- Important to have optimal levels of all BONE BUILDING nutrients in your food plan and possibly your supplement plan
- Focus on Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D and K2 alongside a range of trace minerals
- Ensure Calcium: Magnesium Ratio is 2:1
- Optimal Nutrient status is important to minimise risk of absorbing toxic minerals
- Include 1-2 portions of phyto estrogenic foods every day
- When recovering from a fracture ensure you have optimal amounts of protein, fruit and vegetables and omega 3 oils in your food plan and consider a bone supporting supplement plan to promote healing and recovery.
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.
Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
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Aileen and Karen