Before you lace up those sneakers for an outdoor winter run, you probably make sure to have the right gear: a hat, gloves and light, warm, absorbent layers do the trick. But did you know that food is also an important winter running essential? The energy you get from food will fuel your body to not only give you the energy you need for a run of any length, but also keep you warm. These tips will keep you toasty and fit all winter long:
Hydrate: Regardless of the outdoor temperature, it’s important to stay hydrated when doing outdoor activities. This is commonly overlooked during the winter months because, despite any amount of sweat loss, cold weather makes you feel less thirsty. Make sure you’re properly hydrated before your run and avoid drinking ice cold water or sports drink during exercise. To warm up after, sip on a warm drink like hot water with lemon. Hot cider or hot cocoa can also be good options, however be careful of the added sugar content in these drinks and always opt for a good quality, healthy homemade version over something processed or packaged.
Fuel Your Run: A couple hours before running, make sure to fuel up with carbohydrates that will also elevate your body temperature. A Oatmeal or a quinoa or amaranth porridge are smart choices. In a pinch, try gluten-free or sprouted grain toast or waffles with nut butter.
Be Prepared on the Run: For shorter runs, you won’t need to refuel, but longer runs require a top up on energy stores. Whip up a batch of these carrot cake bites to stash in your pocket. Warming ingredients, ginger and clove will help you maintain your body temperature as an added bonus.
Replenish Glycogen Stores: It’s important to re-store glycogen post-exercise with warm, slow-burning carbohydrates with protein such as oatmeal or a steamed or baked sweet potato with nuts, soba noodles with a spicy almond butter sauce, lentil soup or chili.
Follow these guidelines and your winter workouts will keep you in top shape and help you prepare for bikini season not too far away.