Baobab Powder- Superfood for Runners

Baobab powder has the same benefits as electrolyte drinks but with less sugar. Baobab is an African fruit which contains natural performance- boosting electrolytes such as magnesium (helps the body to produce energy and release muscle soreness), calcium (required for muscle contractions and support bone health) and potassium (maintains blood pressure and stores nitrogen in muscle proteins). Baobab can also be found in Arabia, Australia and Madagascar. The baobab tree produces a large fruit with a delicious citrus-like flavor. This type of fruit has many health benefits as well, for runners to have access to a natural source of electrolytes can be effective and more healthy. In most part of the world, we only have access to the Baobab powder version, which is a great Superfood.

We can use it especially pre-run fueling or for recovery after long runs or high-heat and humidity training sessions. To consume the water mixture should be half an hour pre-run, or the pre-run smoothie 1 1/2 hours before the run. For recovery, anytime within 30-60 mins post-run.

We can add 1 tablespoon of baobab powder and a pinch of salt into sparkling or regular water, or in a smoothie with berries, greens and protein.

Benefits of Baobab Powder for Runners

  1. High source of Vitamins and Minerals

Baobab is a great source of the most important vitamins and minerals for runners. Powdered baobab contains many important nutrients, especially high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, niacin, iron, magnesium and potassium.

 

2 Tablespoons of powdered baobab provides:

Calories: 50

Protein: 1 gram

Carbs: 16 grams

Fat: 0 gram

Fiber: 9 grams

Vitamin C: 58% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

Vitamin B6: 24% RDI

Niacin: 20% RDI

Iron: 9% RDI

Potassium: 9% RDI

Magnesium: 8% RDI

Calcium: 7% RDI

 

  • 6x more Vitamin C than oranges
  • 2x more Calcium than milk and maca powder
  • 5x more Potassium than bananas
  • 6x more Antioxidants than blueberries
  • 20x more Fiber than apples and 2x more than chia seeds
  • 5x more Iron than spinach

 

2. Promotes Feeling of Fullness

It can help curb cravings and promote feelings of fullness, to balance our hunger and food consumption. Studies have showed that drinking a smoothie with 15 grams of baobab powder really reduces the feelings of hunger. Baobab is also high in fiber, 2 tbsps. contain 9 grams of fiber, which can help with digestion, emptying our stomach gradually, and keeping us feeling full longer. A good source of fiber can also help with weight loss.

 

  1. Helps Balance Blood Sugar Levels

For runners, we need to consume more carbs to sustain and refuel our energy levels. Adding baobab powder to our diet will benefit with blood sugar control so we don’t overconsume high sugar levels. We can also use baobab powder for baking, bread, muffins etc. which will help slow down the increase of blood sugar levels in our body when we eat those nice foods. With high-fiber content, baobab also helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which can help prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar.

 

  1. Antioxidant and Polyphenol Helps Reduce Inflammation

Baobab is full of antioxidants and polyphenols, which are compounds that protect our cells from oxidative damage and reduce inflammation in our body. For runners, high levels of inflammation can cause many health issues, it can also affect our heart. Runners need to consume good levels of antioxidants.

 

  1. High-Fiber Will Support Digestive Health

As runners, especially long-distance runners, digestive issues are very common. Fiber moves through our gastrointestinal (GI) tract undigested and is essential to digestive health. Fiber also acts as a prebiotic and feeds the beneficial bacteria in our gut, optimizing the health of our gut microbiome. Runners need to have a healthy digestive system, we just have to make sure we don’t consume too much fiber the day before a race, or during a run.

 

  1. A Superfood Powder Full of Nutrients

There are so many options to add this great baobab powder to different meal types, water, smoothies, soups, baked goods, yogurt, oatmeal. This will provide some extra antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Baobab powder is a great electrolyte powder as well for runners.

 

We Can Add Baobab Powder to Different Meals and Drinks:

  • Breakfast oatmeal.
  • Other breakfast- yogurt, cereals, smoothies.
  • Energy or protein bar recipes.
  • Popsicles or fruit ice cream recipes.
  • Baking recipes like bread, healthy muffins or cakes, or other baking recipes.
  • Salad dressing recipes, with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil and fresh herbs.
  • Sparkling water or plain water for great rehydration.

Eat Baobab Superfood Powder, Get Lots of Electrolytes and Nutrients, Feel Great When you Run!

KATIA

Benefits of HIIT for Runner’s VO2 Max

 

Why we Need to Increase our VO2 Max

While we run, during the increased effort, we can see some physiological changes. The two most obvious changes we start to feel is breathing harder and our heart pumping faster. We need to increase in breath rate and heart rate, our heart pumps the oxygenated blood to our working muscles. Our body requires oxygen to create energy for sustained cardiovascular exercise. The more oxygen we can efficiently consume and use, the easier our run will feel with higher intensity level. Increasing our VO2 Max will improve our running performance, and increase our anaerobic threshold. Anaerobic means without oxygen, to help us to keep moving. Eventually we will have to slow down to return to the aerobic level of intensity. A higher VO2 Max is also a sign of a higher anaerobic threshold, which means a higher level of lactic acid tolerance. It also improves our cardiovascular capacity, and helps provide more oxygen to our muscles. This is the benefit of training to improve our VO2 Max.

VO2 Max is the measurement of the maximum oxygen delivery and utilization for running and cardiovascular exercises. Our VO2 Max is actually governed by our genetics, that is why our VO2 Max can improve, but even runners following the same type of training plan, will have different levels of VO2 Max. We should focus on increasing our personal VO2 Max level, not to match other runners or elite runners’ VO2 Max.

Some common training sessions to increase our VO2 Max level are uphill training, and speedwork sessions. On the other hand, HIIT sessions can be so effective to increase our level of VO2 Max. To add regular HIIT sessions, can be also efficient to increase our whole fitness level, with stronger muscles, core, legs, and VO2 Max. HIIT sessions can provide some different type of training than running, so we can enjoy different types of fun exercises.

What is HIIT

HIIT is compromised of short hard burst of cardio exercise, it is one of the best ways to increase our VO2 Max along with uphill and speedwork sessions. The reason is that HIIT causes us to temporarily surpass our anaerobic threshold before returning to a lower aerobic intensity. This type of training causes our heart and lungs to adapt the higher demand, and increase our VO2 Max to our genetic limits.

Performing hill repeats, track speed sessions, or speedwork will be very efficient, but adding other types of HIIT training sessions will help increase our VO2 Max in different ways.

To perform HIIT intervals combined with bodyweight or strength training exercises will have major benefits. Include any type of cardio exercises such as:

  • Jump rope
  • Running stairs up & down
  • High knees
  • Squat jumps
  • Burpees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Bear crawls
  • Lunge jumps
  • Box jumps
  • Plank jacks
  • Mountain climbers
  • Plank side jumps (jump feet side to side)
  • Squat thrust

Cardio Exercises Video: https://vimeo.com/450740303

Perform 6-8 cardio exercises combined with 6-8 muscle and core strength exercises 45 secs to 1 minute each. To take a short recovery time 15-30 secs, will help increase our VO2 Max.

If you’re looking to increase your VO2 Max, perform 3 sessions/week.

For long-distance runners, HIIT sessions can be a smart base-building strategy. Longer, lower intensity exercise like easy pace long runs increases the number of mitochondria (cells that produce chemical energy stored in ATP) in our cells, which is why people perform long, steady endurance runs to build base. High-intensity training makes those mitochondria more powerful, and performing high-intensity exercises regularly can stimulate the production of mitochondria.

Increasing our VO2 Max won’t happen overnight, depending on our fitness level, it can take from 1 month (moderately fit) up to 4 months (very fit). We just need to focus on discipline and motivation!

Perform HIIT Training, Get Stronger and Run Stronger!

KATIA

Overnight Oats for Runners- Full of Nutrients

 

Busy weekday mornings call for simple breakfasts that can be made in advance, and overnight oats definitely provide a great breakfast, or recovery meal. They’re perfect for early mornings when you’re rushing to go to work or need to refuel after a morning session. Plus, they offer many flavour combinations so even very strict eaters, they can find an option they like.

You start with fibre-rich oats, soak them in your favourite milk, then balance it out with protein and healthy fat, and healthy toppings to create a breakfast that powers your day.

Overnight oat breakfasts can keep you full all morning long.

5 Reasons to Eat Overnight Oats

 

  1. Oats Are Full Of Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals

The popularity of overnight oats is growing. Everyone knows oatmeal is a nutritious dish to add to your diet, but overnight oats hold a special appeal and may offer even more benefits than the cooked version. Oats are loaded with good nutrients like fibre, protein, magnesium, potassium, and Omega 3’s fatty acids, among other things. Also, oats don’t contain added sugar, if you read the labels and avoid certain instant varieties. They also can be eaten different ways, making them one versatile power food.

 

Oats are full of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains:

 

  • Manganese: 191% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 34% of the RDI
  • Copper: 24% of the RDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 20% of the RDI
  • Folate: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI

 

  1. Overnight Oats Are Super Healthy, And Super Easy To Cook

Overnight oats are raw oats that have been soaked overnight in liquid: popular choices include almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, or Greek yogurt. The oats absorb the liquid during the night, softening them in the same way cooking them softens them, except without the work. You can soak pretty much any variety of oats, although quick cook or rolled oats are often preferred because they absorb the liquid faster than steel cut oats.

 

  1. Overnight Oats Increase Digestibility

When you soak oats overnight, it’s almost like you’re cooking them, but the process is much longer and slower, and it’s done without the damaging effects of heat. Soaking helps the starches break down and reduces the natural phytic acid, which helps your body use the oats’ nutrients much more efficiently. This makes them easier to digest than oats that have been cooked, which is great for everyone, but is especially helpful for people with gluten sensitivities. Even oats that are gluten free aren’t always easy to digest, but overnight oats are much easier for people with sensitivity.

 

  1. Overnight Oats Contain Increased Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is found in all foods that contain starch, but it appears to be present at higher levels with cooled starchy foods instead of cooked ones. Resistance starch is a natural carb and helps to improve digestion, aid in weight loss, increase feelings of fullness, and decrease dangerous insulin spikes associated with eating hot starchy foods. Oats are a good type of carbs for runners, healthy, easy to digest and energy filling.

You can use almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, Greek yogurt or even regular dairy milk if you want. Sweeteners can be anything from honey or stevia to maple syrup and other natural ones like date paste, depending on your preference. Then you can add things like chia seeds, flaxseed, nuts and nut butters, fresh fruit, dried fruit, berries, and even raw cacao nibs, protein powder, or Moringa or maca powder. Coconut oil can be a great addition as well and add some energy-giving healthy fat.

 

  1. Overnight Oats Are Time Savers

Prepping your overnight oats before bed probably takes less than 5 minutes, and when you wake up in the morning, they are ready. You can prep all your add-ins the night before as well and have them ready to stir in, or bag them up to take with you. Overnight oats are so tasty. It’s like dessert in a jar, only it’s good for you and serves as a full meal in itself, and it contains all the nutrients runners need for energy and recovery, or you can save it for later and really eat it like a dessert:)

Overnight oat recipes with protein will help to keep you full all morning long, help your muscle to recover and stabilize your hunger.

In some recent news, a 105 year old American lady, who is healthy with good energy has been eating oats with dates (high fiber for digestive system), walnuts (protein and Omega 3’s to support brain health and prevent heart disease) full of antioxidant, healthy fat, and fresh berries.

Eat Oats, Get all your Nutrients, Feel Great & Run Strong!

KATIA

NUT BUTTER BERRY VANILLA PROTEIN OVERNIGHT OATS RECIPE

How to Recover Sore Feet After Long Runs

Often after long runs, we can feel the physical aftermath in our feet. We can feel soreness in our Achilles, arches, toes. Usually, after a few hours we don’t feel the discomfort, but we will feel it again the next day after our run.

Stretching our feet after each run is not mandatory unless we have some issues with foot soreness. But even to stretch our feet a few times a week will help prevent getting that foot soreness and tightness. To perform some basic post-run stretches will help release the tension in our feet.

 

3 Basic Foot Stretches

 

  1. Toe Stretch on the Wall– Standing with toes of the right foot up against a wall, push forward until you feel the stretch in your right calf.

Hold it for 20-30 secs, and then switch side. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

 

  1. Butt to Heel Stretch– Start in a tabletop (quadruped) position, with knees under the hips and palms on the floor, with wrists directly under the shoulders. Curl your toes under and into the floor, push your hips back towards your heels. You should feel a stretch in the soles of your feet.

Hold for 20-30 secs or as comfort allows. Repeat 2-3 times.

 

  1. Self-Massage– Sitting on a chair, press the left foot into the floor with the knee bent at 90-degree angle, and bring the right ankle on top of the left knee. Using your thumb, gently massage the sole of your right foot, increasing pressure as comfort allows. If you find knots, massage those gently. Repeat on the left foot.

 

Another self-massage option is to roll a frozen water bottle underneath your feet to help ease any post-run inflammation, and plantar fasciitis. You can also use a foot massage gel roller than can be frozen to release muscle tightness and plantar fasciitis.

Foot Massage Ball- To use regularly can help release tendon tightness, and help protect our feet.

  • Helps correct imbalances in the muscles.
  • Relieves knots and tightness around the plantar fascia ligament.
  • Improves range of motion.
  • Relieves heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
  • Stimulates blood flow to affected areas, providing long-term healing.

 

Tips for Using Foot Mobility Balls

  • Massaging your feet with your Foot Mobility Ball will provide immediate relief, but using it regularly will provide long-term healing.
  • Massage your feet using your Foot Mobility Ball at least once a day.
  • Roll each foot along the entire length of the plantar fascia ligament, from the ball of your foot to the heel.
  • Roll for 2-3 minutes each foot.
  • When you find a particularly tender spot, pause for 60 seconds and relax your foot muscles, slowly increasing the pressure.
  • Massaging your feet should not be painful. Apply enough pressure to provide relief, but do not press so hard that you experience severe pain.

 

Foam Rolling the Calves- Side effects of tight calves are tight feet. To foam roll our calves will help release the Achilles and foot tightness.

Sitting on the floor with legs extended, place the foam roller underneath your calves and roll back and forth. Gently massage back and forth on any tight spots in the calves. To increase the intensity, you can place the heel of the right foot on the left foot and roll out your left calf, then switch sides. Adding some pressure from the top leg on the bottom leg will increase the intensity of the massage

 

3 Pre-Run Warm Up Foot Strengthening Exercises

 

To perform some pre-run warm up foot exercises will help activate, strengthen our feet muscles and blood flow. This will make our feet stronger for the running impact.

 

  1. Toe Crunches– Sitting on a chair or standing with your feet flat on the ground, place the edge of a hand towel under the toes of your right foot and scrunch the towel using your toes, bringing it towards your heel.

Repeat 2-3 times on each foot.

  1. Big Toe/Little Toe Lifts– From a standing position, press the big toe on each foot into the ground and lift the four little toes on each foot. Then alternate, and press the four little toes into the ground while lifting the big toe on each foot.

Repeat 5-8 times

  1. Use a Golf Ball– Gently roll the ball underneath the sole of your foot, roll the ball back and forth gently to release any tension. If you find a tight spot, massage it gently.

 

Don’t overuse your shoes- Wearing old worn out shoes can cause sore feet and joints. The recommendation is to switch to new shoes after running 500-800 km, depending on the shoe brand and quality. Also, having access to two pairs of running shoes and rotating between them when training, will make your shoes last longer. Using two different models, will also help support your running form by strengthening your feet. Make sure that your shoes are appropriate for your running gait to prevent injuries.

Release Your Feet, Strengthen Your Feet, Run Strong, Feel Great!

KATIA

 

 

Why Do Runners Need Basic Supplements

 

Our vegetables, fruits and grains have lost most of their nutrients because of soil depletion. The alarming fact is that foods like fruits, vegetables and grains being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain needed nutrients, are starving us, no matter how much we eat of them, we have not enough access to vitamins and minerals in fresh foods.

Plants can’t make minerals, and without minerals vitamins don’t work. Any depletion in the minerals and nutrient content of soils reflects an increase in nutritionally related diseases in both animal and human populations.

Researches released 20 years ago, confirm that mineral depletion of our global topsoil reserve is out of control. At the time, U.S. and Canadian agricultural soils had lost 85% of their mineral content. Asian and South American soils were down 76%, while throughout Africa, Europe and Australia, soils were depleted by 74%, 72% and 55% respectively. Now 20 years later, our vegetables and fruits are even more depleted.

So even eating a healthy diet with lots of fresh foods, we still need to consume some basic supplements to support our whole health, immune system, prevent diseases, our energy levels, strength, muscle and bone health.

 

Why Runners Need to Take Basic Supplements

The reason they’re named supplements, is because that’s what they are, designed to supplement our healthy choices and support our body’s supplement requirements from running, exercising  and training. Even to focus on the basic supplements, vitamins and minerals is essential and beneficial. We need to first focus on energy, anti-inflammatory, muscle and bone health and digestion. And now with the worldwide Covid-19, we need to support our immune system daily, to make sure we stay healthy. Recent research has shown that people who were diagnosed with the Covid-19, with higher levels  of vitamins and minerals in their body, their virus level was much milder.

 

Why We Need Supplements

  • Our food sources are depleted of nutrients.
  • They help us digest food and absorb nutrients.
  • If we push our body hard, we need help to recover.
  • They can improve our sleep pattern for better recovery.
  • They help reduce inflammation from our training.
  • A perfect diet can be challenging, supplements can help provide the main vitamins and minerals, and support our immune system.
  • They are super effective in increasing our energy and speeding recovery.

 

Basic Supplements for Runners

Probiotics: Healthy bacteria that promotes a healthy digestive tract, healthy immune system, and prevents some illnesses and diseases. With a healthy digestive system, our body absorbs nutrients more easily.

Daily dose: 10- 30 billions CFU/day is enough.

 

Vitamin C: Antioxidant which speeds up healing of micro-tears, boosts the immune system. When doing endurance and long distance training, the body gets depleted of vitamin C

Daily dose: 500-1,000mg/day

 

B12 Supplement: Is essential for the support of the immune system, healthy mood, memory management. Again, endurance athletes tend to get depleted of B12.

Daily dose: 1,000 mcg/day

 

Magnesium: Low levels of magnesium can contribute to fatigue, nausea, muscle cramps, impaired performance. The benefits of magnesium include the support of heart health, neurotransmission function, muscle recovery. It regulates stress system, helps with sleep and the absorption of calcium.

Daily dose: 250-500mg/day in capsule form, not liquid as it might affect the bowel movement.

 

Vitamin D3: With today’s lifestyle 80% of people are low on vitamin D3, which is also essential to support the immune system, helps to get muscles stronger and is also essential to help absorb calcium.

Daily dose: 1,000-2,000IU/day (min)

 

Calcium: Essential for endurance athletes to support the maintenance and repair of bone tissue, regulating muscle contraction. Getting the adequate amount of calcium will prevent low bone mineral and stress fracture. For your body to absorb the calcium you need to take vitamin D3.

Daily dose: 1,000-1,500mg/day

 

Zinc: This supplement helps to boost the immune system, muscle recovery, and balancing hormones like testosterone.

Daily dose: 10-20mg/day

 

L-Glutamine: Helps support the immune system and muscle tissue, it helps to take the supplement right after training.

Daily dose: 750-1,500mg/day

 

Multivitamins: Taking a multivitamin daily is like insurance to your body, just making sure your body gets the basic supplements it might need.

 

Powdered Greens: Full of nutrients, superfoods, and vitamins just adding a scoop to your smoothie or drink/day will give your body a boost.

 

Turmeric Powder: A natural pain killer, immunity booster, anti-inflammatory, and helps with digestion.

 

Ashwagandha: This herb is designed for calming.  An adaptogen works to help minimize the impact of stress (physical, emotional and mental). Ashwagandha helps the body absorb the stress of training and promotes restful sleep.

Daily dose: 400mg/day

 

Protein Powder- Whey protein isolate/ Plant-based protein powder

  • Protein is needed for the formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to exercising muscles.
  • It’s critical for controlling fluid volume and maintaining water balance.
  • Proteins that are consumed are digested and broken down into amino acids, then go into an amino acid pool that can be drawn from if carbohydrate stores run low.
  • The Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) found in protein are critical in repairing muscle damage that has occurred during exercise.
  • BCAA also help to synthesize muscle production for building lean muscle.

These are just a few examples of how protein assists the body before, during, and after activity. While there’s no denying protein’s role in post activity recovery, the benefits are far greater than just your standard recovery shake.

Fish Oil/ Omega 3’s

Daily dose: 1000mg/day

Some of the benefits Include:

  • Fish oil increases protein synthesis
  • Fish oil increases muscle strength and physical performance
  • Fish oil reduces exercise-induced muscle damage and delayed-onset muscle soreness
  • Fish oil helps to combat negative effects of intensive training on the immune system
  • Fish oil improves cardio-respiratory functioning

Try to consume natural foods containing Omega 3’s- Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, flax seeds, especially after long runs.

 

Important Factors of Supplements

Quality matters: The source and quality of supplements is very important, just like healthy fresh foods, with higher quality supplements, our body will absorb more. Synthetic supplements, our body will absorb less.

Avoid additives: Try to avoid supplements with chemicals, and GMO’s we need to avoid as well.

Listen to your body: When we start taking new supplements, we have to pay attention to how we feel. It might work for some people more than others. Like nutrition and diets, we need to focus on our personal body type, and training, as we individually get depleted of certain vitamins and minerals compared to others.

Good Nutrients, Good Supplements, Great Health!

KATIA