Gidus. “There’s good research suggesting
that selenium, vitamin E, and other antioxidants help protect the immune system.” Nuts and dried fruits are rich in
these antioxidants; cherries in particular
contain phytochemicals, which help
protect against cancer and heart disease
and help reduce inflammation.
A GOOD BAR after a run or as a snack,
try Kind’s dark chocolate cherry cashew
Bar—it packs 50 percent of your dV for
three key immune-boosting antioxidants:
vitamins a, c, and e. Or eat lärabar’s
Über cherry cobbler bar, with cherries,
almonds, and pecans ( larabar.com).
brain’s receptors for adenosine, a chemical released in response to inflammation.
A GOOD BAR clif Bar’s cool mint
chocolate pairs 50 milligrams of caffeine
with the invigorating flavor of mint. eat
half a bar per hour of running, since it
contains 10 grams of protein and five
grams of fat, which could upset your
stomach if eaten all at once ( clifbar.com).
A GOOD BAR honey Stinger’s Organic
Stinger Waffle layers honey between two
thin cookies, providing 21 grams of carbs
and four percent of your daily need for
iron—responsible for creating hemoglobin,
which transports oxygen to your hard-working muscles ( honeystinger.com).
If back-to-back meetings mean you’ll
have to skip a sit-down meal, grab a high-calorie bar with extra fiber and protein. It
should contain 350 to 500 calories, nine
grams of protein or more, and high-fiber
carbohydrates, such as seeds, whole oats,
and dried fruit. You also want some
healthy fat (from nuts, for example),
which, says Christine Gerbstadt, M.D.,
R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of
Nutrition and Dietetics, “helps you absorb vitamins more effectively and keeps
you feeling satisfied.”
A GOOD BAR Probar’s Old School PB&J
fills in for the lunchtime standby. it packs
six grams of fiber, nine grams of protein,
and other run-fueling nutrients, including
15 percent of your daily Value (dV) for iron
and seven percent for potassium to stave
off muscle cramps ( theprobar.com).
LONG-RUN PAIN RELIEF
When mile 15 of your 22-miler has your
body begging for ibuprofen, reach for a
jolt of caffeine instead. A study published
in 2009 in the International Journal of Sport
Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found
that it reduces exercise-related pain during workouts. Study participants who
consumed caffeine prior to high-intensity
cycling reported less quadriceps pain
than those who did not consume it. Researchers believe that caffeine blocks the
When you want a nutrient-rich recovery
snack but don’t have time to seek out the
perfect whole food, eat a carb-rich bar
with moderate doses of protein and fiber
(five to 10 grams of each for a bar with
about 200 calories). “Postrun, these nutrients can help improve recovery and curb
hunger,” says Gidus. For the greatest recovery benefit, eat a bar within 20 minutes of your run. If your workout was
particularly hard or long, follow that with
a light meal of protein and whole-grain
carbs one to two hours later.
A GOOD BAR hammer Bar’s cashew
coconut chocolate chip packs 27 grams of
carbs with five grams of protein and fiber
( hammernutrition.com). Really tough runs
call for the 14 grams of protein in Balance
Bar’s chocolate mint cookie crunch—it
contains vitamin e, which helps repair
muscles after long runs ( balance.com).
What’s That Stuff?
Some mysterious ingredients are good—and some aren’t
Sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol,
Xylitol, and maltitol, are low-calorie
sweeteners—that cause diarrhea.
“i don’t see why anyone should have
sugar alcohols, but especially not
runners,” says tara Gidus, R.d.
POSTRUN IMMUNITY BOOST
The high mileage needed to train for a
marathon or ultra makes you susceptible
to colds and the flu. Good time to try an
antioxidant-packed bar. “The more intense your exercise is, the more you need
antioxidants to help you recover,” says
it’s another term for corn syrup.
it’s used because it bonds easily with
dry or solid ingredients. its short,
simple sugar chains are rapidly
absorbed, so it offers instant fuel
that’s ideal for prerun energy.
BROWN RICE SYRUP
this sweetener is a bit higher
in nutrients and slower-burning than
corn syrup. But organic versions can
contain traces of arsenic. its health
threats haven’t been confirmed, but
some companies may stop using it.
Photograph by mitch mandel