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I know the health benefits of some of the fats found in nuts and dark chocolate. But I've heard and read a lot about eating nuts, chocolate, peanut butter, etc., before, during and after a run. I would have guessed that your body had enough fat so around an intense run, don't bother with fat at all. Clearly I'm wrong with so many eating peanut butter on bananas, and many other things like that. Please someone explain to me how it helps to add fat to the extra 10 pounds that I'm trying to lose.
the good fats, the omega 3 and 6s like the ones found in nuts, avocados, and fish, actually help your body BURN fat, especially belly fat. in moderation, of course. i can't give you the actual physiologic mechanisms, but if you google it, surley the interwebz can tell you.
i'm a huge fan of avocados for lunch or dinner. i love almonds, but discovered i can't eat them before a run without getting sick. after, and as a snack, though.. yum.
and i do the peanut butter and banana thing before my runs. it's about the only thing that doesn't make me sick. i use a teaspoon of PB on a spelt cake (it's like a rice cake, only made out of spelt), add some goji berries and some sliced banana. i also drink rice milk with hemp protein powder in it, cause i know i don't get enough protein in my diet.
Thanks. I am totally convinced that they are good for me in general and your tips are very hepful, thanks. Are you saying that they help you burn fat IF YOU EAT THEM DURING/AFTER an exercise? That's the type of thing I need to understand better. I'll have to do some reading. I eat almonds and Avacados DAILY. I want to understand why I should eat that kind of thing before/during/immediately after running.
I few things about fats:
1) Your body actually needs to intake some fat in order to stay healthy. That critical membrane that protects your cells and regulates their metabolic functions is made up of lipids. Just make sure that the fats you take in are the healthy ones (like nuts, avocado, certain fish, etc.).
2) Fats are the most efficient way to take in calories since they have about double the caloric value per gram of carbohydrates or protein. That means that just a little bit of peanut butter can go a long way. Carrying less weight (whether it's in your pocket or in your gut) is often better while running.
3) Running burns around 100 calories per mile. That means that a long marathon training run will often burn 2000 calories. Since many distance runners don't need to cut weight they need to replace those calories. Doing so with a reasonable amount of healthy fats (along with carbohydrates for glycogen replacement and a bit of protein to help promote muscle repair) is a good way to go about it.
I hope that helps.
Thanks Jay. So I'm making my own gel... I'm targeting about 2-5 g of protein per dose (only because that's similar to what Accelerade uses and I don't know any better). Should I put some fat of some kind in this to improve it? If so, any idea how much? Would any monounsaturated fat work (almonds, olive oil, etc.)?
One consideration, assuming you're going to eat this gel during your runs/races, is that fats and protein are harder to digest than carbs. So you don't want to include too much because it could cause stomach upset. But I don't have a good idea of how much is too much.
Mark W Rice wrote:
Should I put some fat of some kind in this to improve it?
You could try making it with some peanut butter (which would probably cover your protein requirement as well), but I don't think it's needed for a during exercise gel. There's only so many calories that your body can digest during each hour of running. I think post-run nutrition is a different story.
Len, Jay: Thanks. This is exactly to what I'm referring... I TOTALLY buy that the fat is needed in ones diet. I eat almonds every morning (in wheat chex) for that purpose. I eat others also. BUT HOW this fits into diet the closer one is to exercise is my question. I don't eat it before or during (is this a mistake?) and I usually eat it only about 2 hours after my exercise... when I'm ready for my regular breakfast.
Thanks for your replies... however, any further insights concerning WHEN to consume fats and how much would be welcome.
i found this article
and there are links at the bottom of it for further reading. i hope that helps!
I have a couple of thoughts on this one. First of all as far as calories in / calories out I try to maintain a healthy balance between carbs / fats / proteins. I personally give myself a range of 50% - 60% of Carbs and between 20% & 30% of both protein & fat keeping my total caloric intake on par with my burn. For me this means eating about 3,000 calories a day on average, with a minimum of about 130 grams of protein. Yes I could easily take in the extra calories I burn by gobbling down a bunch of macadamia nuts, (...how I love them...)but if I do this I will be over the top on my fat intake without getting the carbs & protein I need in general, (peanuts are better because they have a better ratio of proteins to fats, macadamias are mostly fat w/ very little protein). So my theory is to always eat a good balance whether you need 1,000 calories or 5,000 calories.
Secondly, I personally don't like to eat anything during a run, including gels. I did find myself getting a little tired on yesterdays long run after about mile 16, and my pace slowed as a result so I'm considering trying cliff shot blocks w/ caffeine on the final third of my run next week to see how it goes. From what I understand our bodies primarily get there energy to run from 2 sources, the first being carbohydrates and the second being from converting stored body fat. Supposedly caffeine helps the body convert body fat to usable fuel, so my theory is that taking these shot blocks towards the end of a run, (when the previous nights and early morning carbs have all been spent) will give me some quick carb energy plus help me to use some stored body fat.
I do make sure I get extra protein though on my long run days both before and after the run - just not during. Before the run I usually mix a serving of protein powder with my breakfast cereal and milk, (usualy soy, sometimes dairy) and shortly after the run I have some type of a protein bar - I look for something with at least 20g of protein in it. So at the end of a long run day my food intake looks like about 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat. Compare that with the day before I'm more like 60% carb, 20% protein & 20% fat or the day after when I do about 55% carb, 25% fat and 20% protein....sometimes the day after I'm all the way up to a 30% fat intake......but when you look at an entire week on average it's close to 55% carb and close to an even split (22.5%) between fat & protein.
I would probably stay away from the fat right before and during the race as it prolongs digestion in the stomach. A good ratio carbs to protein ratio is about 3:1 or 4:1 grams/grams. If you get too much protein then it can also prolong digestion in the stomach, but a small amount is believed to actually help glucose uptake into the muscles.
Stay away from the fats 3-4 hours before your workout and during your workout. They are slowly digested and will not be available for energy anyway.
No need to consume foods on runs under one hour if you have eaten properly. Your body has stored enough fuel.
Runs longer than one hour consume 200-300 calories per hour of simple carbs. This will help energy levels. Don't wait until you feel yourself slowing down and hitting the wall. It takes about 20 minutes for the simple carbs to be available in the blood stream (if you add fat it takes longer). If you know that at mile 16 you are going to crash, start fueling between mile 13 and 14, depending on your pace.
Immediately after your workout, (start during cool-down or stretching) consume roughly 100 calories of simple carbs. This will help replenish any catalysts burned during your workout. Follow with a light meal (50-25-25 ratio) no more than 60 minutes after your workout.
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