Whether you’re a quick-morning-fat-burner type runner or someone who’s always in training for something more long distance like a marathon – your nutritional intake is just as important as when you’re out pounding the pavement. Although dairy probably isn’t something that you’d want to consume right before a big race, the benefits it offers runners (and other activities) is well established. This blog will look at some of the gains to be had from including dairy in your diet.
A healthy way to manage weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is obviously great for helping better that PB time around your favourite running route – and the activity itself obviously helps keep those pesky extra pounds off! Of course those pounds in question could be fat (good to lose)... or lean muscle (not so healthy to lose). Diets and weight loss programs that encourage extreme calorie-restricted regimes can be counter productive and often mean the weight lost with them is instantly gained again. This is because they burn off muscle weight – which eventually returns again as we get stronger, even if we stick to the calorie count. In fact, daily exercise and a high-protein diet is thought to result in more fat loss whilst still keeping you strong. Dairy foods, such as ours, are a great source of protein and can help you achieve this!
You might not have heard of leucine before but it’s pretty important in terms of keeping you light on your feet. It’s naturally occuring in milk and one of the nine essential amino acids that are essential to our body. It’s also the only one that stimulates protein synthesis and leads to a growth in lean muscle tissue. This makes it essential for anyone taking part in hard training regimes, as it’ll help keep those otherwise tired muscles going. Leucine’s also thought to regulate glucose levels during endurance running meaning that you’re less likely to ‘hit the wall’ while in action.
Of course any major changes to your diet should be approached with care and always consult your GP if there’s anything you’re not sure about. The evidence is there and does seem to suggest that there’s more than one positive to including dairy in your diet if you’re a runner!
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