Running can be a challenging and rewarding aspect of an active lifestyle, with benefits like improved heart health, bone density and strength, and that coveted “runner’s high”. Many runners turn to protein powder as a convenient source of pre-and-post-run fuel – we can’t help but look forward to a luscious protein shake every time we lace up! As a runner, making sure you get the protein you need and that your protein powder checks off certain nutritional boxes can be an ideal way to get the extra nutrients necessary to keep you feeling swift and fit. Here’s what to look for:
High in Clean Protein: Clean protein is an essential macronutrient for building and maintaining muscle mass. Getting enough protein will also keep cravings at bay and allow your body to recover post-run, reducing soreness afterward. Pairing a higher portion of protein with complex carbohydrates and healthy fats (the macronutrient trifecta) is key in supplying your body with slow-burning nutrients as opposed to the pasta-bread-carbo-loading extravaganza that can lead to blood sugar crashes and intense cravings. Choose protein powders made with grass-fed whey or organic plant-based protein for high quality, nutritious ingredients. Orgain Clean Whey and Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein are excellent choices and come in a rainbow of smooth flavors to choose from!
Low in Sugar: Limiting refined sugar intake can have a positive impact on running performance as the body generates energy from more nourishing sources. Avoiding added sugars also reduces the presence of a known source of inflammation in the body. Orgain protein powders are sweetened with stevia and erythritol, two natural sweeteners that are easy on the digestive system as well as having little to no effect on blood sugar without compromising flavor. Plus, reducing your sugar intake doesn’t mean you can’t ever indulge your sweet tooth! We’ve got some delicious recipes for high protein desserts tailored to runners’ nutritional needs that aren’t overly-sweetened and won’t slow you down.
Formulated for Recovery: Running often leads to sweating, depleting the body of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals needed for brain and body function. Thankfully, calcium, vitamins A, E, C, zinc, potassium, and more can be found in many foods, including Orgain Organic Protein & Greens Powder, produce, legumes, whole grains, dairy, and meat. Smoothies and shakes are an easy way to get macro- and micro-nutrients because there are endless combinations of protein powder, fruits & veggies, and liquid bases to experiment with! Start with this turmeric mango smoothie with 21g of protein, inflammation fighting turmeric, as well as Vitamin C from juicy mango- perfect for a light breakfast before a morning run or a great snack to jump start your body’s recovery process afterwards. Calories from healthy foods provide our bodies with the energy needed to carry us through our days of working, yoga, school-drop off, skiing, running, and even thinking. However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some activities demand more energy than others. Avid runners need healthy fuel to power their routes and routines – and for post-run recovery, minimizing soreness and joint-pain, as well as replacing the electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals the body sweats out. Now that you’ve found a protein powder that is right for you, lace up and happy running!