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Smart mat för löpare: Superfood for Runners

December 1, 2011

Beet Juice Boosts Athletic Performance by up to 16 Percent. Photo: Ola Kjelbye

Lately I have picked lots of chaga mushrooms. Drinking chaga tea is now part of my daily routine to stay healthy and strong. Appearently Chaga is rich in super oxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is a powerful enzyme; it works as an anti-oxidant that repairs cell damage from free radicals. An article about Chaga on states that “Chaga has more SOD than fish oils, barley grass and vitamins E and C.” Almost too good to be true, considering you can collect chaga mushrooms in the forest – for free!

I’m also drinking Barley grass juice with Spirulina (complete plant-based protein, outstanding minerals and trace mineral content, great for stabilizing blood sugar). Nettle roots are drying in the kitchen, which is another “new” superfood for me. Collecting wild superfoods has become a hobby. But I also wonder what kind of superfoods my blog readers use on a daily basis. Do you know any particular superfood that particularly runners can benefit from? Do you feel that you could benefit from adding a mix of superfoods to your daily routine? And how much would you be prepared to pay for a daily dose? Are runners into superfoods at all, or is it only ‘health nuts’? At least in media the attention for superfoods has increased the past years. But what does it look like in reality? I’m curious. Are you?

Sprouted hemp seeds contain important fatty acids of high quality. Photo: Ola Kjelbye

Here are just a few things I found when I browsed’s archive for articles about valuable nutrition for runners:

“Proper nutrition, increased antioxidants, and adequate hydration are critical to success. Stress induced free radicals, which can lead to inflammation, can be reduced or eliminated by increasing your intake of antioxidants. Vitamins C, E and A are the best known antioxidants. A more powerful source is astaxanthin – especially when taken in higher than normal doses, somewhere in the range of 8 to 16 mg. spaced evenly throughout the day.”

“Astragalus is one of the best known herbs used in Chinese medicine. It strengthens the digestion and stimulates the immune system. Two types of chemical compounds found in astragalus, polysaccharides and saponins, are credited with many of the herb’s benefits.”

Brazil nuts are rich in immune boosting selenium. Photo: Ola Kjelbye

“Beet Juice Boosts Athletic Performance by up to 16 Percent. Regular consumption of beet juice may boost athletic performance, increasing endurance while lowering blood pressure and reducing fatigue, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Exeter.”

“A quartet of electrolytes play a critical role in muscle function and other biochemical processes. The loss of sodium is by far the most substantial and well-studied but the loss of and replacement of potassium, calcium and magnesium are also of supreme importance because over time all are lost through sweat. Magnesium and bicarbonate are the most important minerals to sports nutrition….Magnesium deficiency reduces metabolic efficiency, increases oxygen consumption and heart rate required to perform work, all things that would take the edge off of athletic performance.”

Runners can benefit from high quality nutrition: Stronger Immune protection, Faster recovery and Better performance. Photo: Peder Sundström

“Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) facilitates the removal of hydrogen ions from the muscle cell so as to help maintain the muscle cell near its optimal pH for enzyme functions and energy production. The pH in the muscle cells is slightly alkaline while at rest. Normally, it is at this level that enzymes that produce energy via the lactic acid and oxygen energy systems perform at their optimum.”

“Large doses of vitamin C speed up healing of all types of injuries. In addition to preventing infection, this nutrient is required for the production of collagen, an essential building block of blood vessels, scar tissue, and cartilage. Not surprisingly, the body rapidly uses vitamin C after injury or trauma, and replacing lost stores of this crucial vitamin facilitates overall healing.”

On you can also read about Chocolate milk beating sports drinks for post-exercise muscle recovery, and that Tart cherries also help speed muscle recovery. If you’re interested in optimizing your Performance, Recovery and Immune defense you should check out Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive.

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