We know that health and well-being are important to Mudder Nation at the best of times. But in the current climate, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re fueling your body with immune-boosting foods to stay fit and well.
Nutrition is perhaps the single most important thing you can focus on to aid recovery, sleep, and overall wellness which is why it’s so important to maintain a healthy diet. Plus, by eating the right foods to balance your internal body chemistry (think: low inflammation, proper pH levels, sufficient vitamins and minerals… you get the gist) you support your immune system and recovery capabilities.
Want to step up your game and improve your overall health? Look no further than your cupboard or fridge for lemons, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda. By adding these three simple pantry items to your diet, you can reap considerable health benefits. Here’s why.
3 PRO-RECOVERY FOODS TO ADD TO YOUR DIET
Lemons are cheap, easy to get and provide a magnitude of health benefits. They are refreshing, nourishing, and packed with vitamins C, B6, A, and E, as well as phosphorus, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and calcium. Plus, lemons are rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc — all commonly depleted within the body during endurance exercise.
PRO TIP: Squeeze half a lemon in some water regularly to boost your vitamin intake.
Be aware that you should not overuse lemons because they are acidic and can cause an upset stomach and problems for your teeth. 1/2 to 1 lemon per day is a sweet spot.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is another cheap, easy-to-get home remedy to promote health. Putting about a teaspoon in eight ounces of water daily can help to maintain blood sugar levels, promote weight loss, and improve health. Although it does not contain dozens of vitamins and minerals, it does have potassium and is low in sodium, both of which are helpful in endurance recovery. Apple cider vinegar also helps reduce inflammation.
PRO TIP: Purchase raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains “the mother,” an active bacterial culture, which is what provides many of the benefits covered here.
Apple cider vinegar, like lemons, also has side effects. Apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, and if you are diabetic, taking too much can cause low blood sugar. As with any diet changes, make sure you consider everything before you implement a new change and consult your healthcare provider.
Baking soda, surprisingly, has been used for years to help with cold or sickness recovery and indigestion. When mixed with apple cider vinegar, it is said to have the ability to reduce inflammation and create an alkaline environment in your body. You can do this with lemon juice as well.
PRO TIP: Use it sparingly in your diet. It is best used when you have a cold or are feeling nauseous.
If you want to take it to reduce inflammation, do so occasionally, not daily. Too much baking soda can cause problems such as high sodium, cramps, and possibly increased stomach acid production.
THE BOTTOM LINE: NATURAL HEALTH REMEDIES
When you work out, train for endurance races and tax your body, you create inflammation. You can mix a morning tonic of a cup of warm water, half of a lemon, two capfuls of apple cider vinegar, and a teaspoon of baking soda and take it on an empty stomach. This helps reduce inflammation, hydrate you, balance your pH levels and promote recovery. But please do not make any changes to your diet without consulting a health professional if you feel you are at risk for, or have, diabetes or other health concerns. And don’t overdo it.
Looking after ourselves is the most important thing we can do right now. By maintaining a healthy diet and keeping fit we’ll be ready to face those Tough Mudder obstacles when the time comes, and we can’t wait.