As a sports dietician I love me some vegetables! Let me preface this by saying this is blog is by no means telling you to stop eating vegetables. However, what I have noticed especially with female athletes that you are eating SO many vegetables that you are actually doing yourself a disservice. So let's dive into these three tips to see when it is not beneficial to have vegetables as a female runner.
Tip #1 Your plate is too full with vegetables
Say you are having a huge salad for lunch or dinner and it is loaded with kale and spinach, etc. That is awesome! But veggies are low in energy and do not have a lot of calories in them. I am not saying that having a salad is a bad choice, what I am saying is that cups and cups of vegetables will only have a few calories in them and because you are a runner your body needs energy!
So say you are feeling full after your big salad, but do you notice that:
-an hour or two later you are having sugar cravings?
-you are hungry again?
-in the mornings that you are not feeling recovered from your work outs?
These are all signs that you are having so many vegetables on your plate that you are not getting enough calories or energy to fuel your body. A simple fix for this is to serve yourself less vegetables or to make sure when you are having that big salad that you are adding carbohydrate, protein and fat to them.
Tip #2 Vegetables can contribute to GI distress
If you are a runner and you notice that you are always feeling bloated or gassy or you have to stop and take frequent bathroom breaks during your run, potentially one of the issues could be you are eating too many vegetables before your run. Before your run your body needs easy to digest carbohydrates like Starbursts or white toast would be a better choice before a run than a broccoli salad.
Tip #3 You need to eat energy enriched meals throughout the day
Similar to tip #1 but you are getting filled up on vegetables it can be really hard to get enough carb, protein and fat into your body. So if half your plate is filled up with a salad it can be really challenging to make sure you are getting enough of the other food that you need to heal and recover and have good running performance.
If you want some more tips then tune into our FREE podcast, Food Peace Please on Itunes or by clicking here.