Nutrition for Winter Running
Do you ever consider your nutrition for your winter running? As the nights draw in, the mornings get darker and the days get colder do you think about what foods and nutrients you may need to keep you healthy as you run through the winter months? In this episode we look at some key nutrients for you to consider, helping keep your immune system in Optimal Health. But as well as the foods you eat, we also give you some practical tips to help keep you safe and warm as you head out the door on those cold winter mornings.
Outlining the 5 principle nutrients to consider for winter running before moving on to discuss each one individually. The first nutrient under the spotlight is vitamin C, an underrated but very powerful nutrient whose principle role is to support the immune system, which is what is discussed here.
Moving on to discuss the importance of vitamin D in immune health and how Mg is required for the conversion of vitamin D to its active form. The need for Magnesium in muscle relaxation is also a topic of conversation here.
Looking at Omega-3 Fatty Acids and their anti-inflammatory role in the body before progressing to Beta-Glucans and how their immunomodulation action within the body.
Considering the Female Factors for winter running including a female’s increased risk for Autoimmune conditions.
Discussing the food sources of vitamin C including Acerola, which is known to be the richest food source of Vitamin C content. But some more commonly eaten food sources of Vitamin C are also highlighted.
Introducing food sources of Vitamin D to consider during the winter months when exposure to daylight is limited before moving on to highlight key foods containing magnesium
Introducing omega-3 and beta-glucans and having a brief discussion about the principle food sources of these important nutrients for immune health.
Moving away from food and nutrition and thinking about some practical and safety considerations for winter running. Being able to see and being seen when out running in the dark are two areas discussed before moving on to mention ways to keep warm and free from harm.
- There are many nutrients to consider to help keep you healthy during the winter months, however our 5 principal ones are: Vitamin C and D, Magnesium, Omega-3 and Beta-Glucans.
- These 5 key nutrients have many diverse roles in health and wellbeing, but they are all important in supporting immune health
- Remember that women are more susceptible to autoimmune conditions. So a good reason to try and maintain optimal immune health all year round, but especially during the winter months.
- There are daily Recommended Nutrition Intake levels for most nutrients set out by UK govt bodies, however these are set at levels known to prevent illness in the majority of people, they are not recommended optimal intake levels.
- Remember that certain nutrients can be lost from food through exposure to air, cooking methods and other factors so be mindful of this when considering your daily intake of key nutrients for your winter running.
- Moving away from food and nutrients and thinking about the practicalities of winter running. It is important that we take extra precautions when running outside, both for our safety and for our health.
- Ensure you can see and bee seen. Run in well-lit areas wherever possible and consider wearing a high-viz jacket and head torch.
- Keep warm, especially if going out for a long run. Wear layers as you can always take them off and tie hem round your waist. Remember to take a hat and gloves, remember exposure of the head and face are thought to account for a large proportion of body heat loss.
- Finally, don’t take risks, if the weather or environmental conditions are not conducive to safe running then keep active doing another sport for a short while e.g. swimming, gym, treadmill, spinning.
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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