A High-alkaline diet that reduces toxins in your body will help take most runners to the next level, according to the latest research by scientists.
A diet rich in processed foods such as refined carbohydrates, meat and dairy, creates an acidic environment in the body. In order to neutralize this effect, experts say you don’t have to cut back on your favourite foods, but should eat alkaline-promoting foods.
Running can also impact your body’s acid levels. After an intense training session or marathon, acid builds up in your body.
To meet energy and oxygen demands, both lactic acid and carbon dioxide accumulate in the body. An alkaline diet helps your body create a neutral environment to stabilize and combat the amount of acid build-up. An increased level of acidity in the body has been connected with muscle pain and fatigue. It also decreases your body’s metabolic rate.
New research has shown a diet rich in alkaline foods can not only buffer the acid created by food and exercise, but it can also stop the body from pulling out nutrients from our bones. An alkaline-rich diet preserves muscle mass, reduces calcium loss and boosts metabolism. Simple actions like eating more greens, drinking lemon water and avoiding processed foods can help you improve as a runner.
The alkaline diet is equally important for older runners, since with age, the body’s ability to make muscle protein in the form of nitrogen is significantly reduced. With an alkaline-based diet, nitrogen levels are consistently balanced in the body, leaving muscle mass less affected.
- Lemon, lime and grapefruit
- Dates, figs and apricots (rehydrated)
- Tomato, apple, pear, mango, papaya and avocado
- Watercress, fennel, asparagus, celery and cauliflower
- Onion, garlic, ginger (fresh) and beetroot
- Kelp, spinach, parsley and coriander
- Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and their oils
- Almonds, walnuts and pecans
- Quinoa, millet, buckwheat, oats and brown rice
- Almond milk, brown-rice milk
- Ground coconut and coconut water
TIP: Add alkaline spices such as paprika to soups, chili to casseroles, parsley to lunch salads and ginger to smoothies.