The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the weather is warm. Spring is just around the proverbial corner! Do you know what that means? It’s time to get moving! Motivating myself to go outside to get some exercise is surprisingly a huge chore, especially when I am by myself. I love playing sports, but when it comes to working out or running on my own… I’m very much a wimp. However, once the workout is over, I am so glad that I made myself do it.
These past couple of weeks the weather has been so beautiful that I have started running again. I just thought I would share with you what I do to take care of myself before and after a run. Don’t be alarmed, I’m not a “heavy duty” runner. I don’t run marathons, half-marathons, or 10Ks. I can barely run one mile on a good day. But I have found a few things to give me a boost, so I thought I would share those tips with you.
Before the Run
The foods you eat before exercising make a huge difference in how you feel and how well your body performs during the exercise. I am the type of person that prefers to run on an empty stomach and I find that early mornings are best for me. Therefore, what I eat for dinner the night before changes how well I am able to run the next morning.
Ideally, pre-workout foods should be high in carbs and low in proteins and fats. Proteins and fats are necessary for rebuilding muscle and replenishing energy stores, but they are also very difficult to break down and convert to energy which will end up slowing you down. The best foods to eat before running are foods that are easily broken down and converted to energy like fruits and vegetables. A few pieces of apple or a couple of carrots an hour before the run should do the trick. However, as I mentioned before, I prefer to run on a completely empty stomach, so I do something different to give me energy before a run…
…I drink a shot of NingXia Nitro®! NingXia Nitro is a natural, sugar-free energy booster perfect for a pre-workout pick-me-up. Filled with nutritionally-packed fruit juices, essential oils, and plant extracts, Nitro is my favorite way to start a run. Two of my favorite ingredients in it are D-ribose and vitamin B3.
D-ribose is a natural sugar that is essential in the production of the body’s energy “currency” called ATP. The availability of D-ribose is considered to be one of the main factors in the synthesis of ATP. During prolonged exercise, your body’s energy stores are depleted, but with the increased availability of the ingredients necessary for energy production, your energy levels should remain higher.1
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is another key factor in turning carbohydrates into energy.2 The specific role of vitamin B3 in energy production is a little too in depth to explain here, but if you are a science nerd like me, then you might enjoy learning more about how vitamin B3 works. Suffice it to say, it’s really important!
After the Run
Pure Protein Complete™
After subjecting myself to the torture that is running, I need something to help refresh and rebuild my muscles. After running, the best foods to eat are proteins and carbohydrates because your body is most receptive to the absorption of these nutrients 60-90 minutes after working out, and they are necessary to the rebuilding of muscle.3 However, especially after an exercise like running, all the blood necessary to digest food is in the legs, so it is important to not eat heavy food.
That’s why Pure Protein Complete™ is an excellent option. It is not too heavy, but it contains a full range of amino acids, B vitamins, and other energy support that is essential to muscle recovery. I like to mix a couple of scoops of the Chocolate Pure Protein Complete with some plain yogurt and granola for a recovery breakfast.
Sometimes I’m kind of depressed after running because I’m a competitive person, especially with myself, and if I was running too slowly for my liking I might get a little downhearted. On those days I like to make myself a “comfort smoothie” with two scoops of Pure Protein, almond milk, frozen oranges, almond butter or peanut butter, chia seeds, and a few drops of Orange Vitality™ essential oil.
After stretching and showering, I like to pamper myself by rubbing some Ortho Sport® or Ortho Ease® Massage Oils into my muscles. I find the combination of Peppermint and Wintergreen essential oils in these massage oils to be very soothing and refreshing. If I have some really sore spots I will massage a little Cool Azul™ Pain Relief Cream into those areas, as well.
Thanks for joining me on my running routine! I hope you found these tips helpful!
- Frank, K. (2014). D-Ribose. Examine.com Inc.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin). (2014). Examine.com Inc.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts. Mayo Clinic.