senior runner, manuka honey, workouts

Some people find that after strenuous workouts they tend to feel sick more often than they like. While it never hurts to make a doctor’s appointment just to be safe, it’s possible that you are just not eating enough good carbohydrates. While a more inactive person doesn’t require many carbs, specifically refined carbs, someone who’s active and works out regularly can greatly benefit from eating a good dose of healthy carbs—i.e. potatoes and fruit, not pastries or white bread.

In one of the Journal of Applied Physiology’s published studies, it was stated, “Among the various nutritional strategies and physical therapies that athletes use to recover from exercise, carbohydrate supplementation is the most effective for minimizing immune disturbances during exercise recovery.” So, don’t let the bad reputation fool you—consuming carbs before or after a workout can help athletes avoid a weakened immune system. Exercise is stress on the body, and the body needs to be allowed to recover. For those who have strenuous workouts, there are foods that can help the body recover and replenish itself:

BeetsBeets are a nourishing source of carbs, and they can even boost the blood’s oxygen levels. Beet juice even helps people with altitude sickness to beat the symptoms by dilating their blood levels.

BerriesAdding berries into your diet is a great way to get both natural sugars and powerful antioxidants. You can keep frozen berries stocked in your freezer since winter is obviously not the best time to grow or buy fresh berries. They’re also great for smoothies or toppings for deserts.

Brown rice – Brown rice is packed full of fiber, doesn’t spike blood sugar, and is a great staple to have around. Sprouted rice is even more nutritious.

CarrotsLike sweet potatoes, carrots are high in beta-carotenes and healthy sugars. Depending on how you cook them, they can make great treats after a winter workout.

ChickpeasChickpeas have high levels of zinc, which is a well-known immune booster. Chickpeas and hummus can make great treats that let you load up on healthy carbs. Similar legumes are solid carb choices as well.

QuinoaQuinoa is packed with protein and carbs, the combination of which is perfect for helping you recover quickly after a workout.

Raw honey – While a pure carbohydrate, honey is beneficial in small doses, such as a teaspoon a day, and is said to help boost the immune system. Manuka honey is equally useful after a workout.

Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet but don’t raise blood sugar extensively, and they are dense in beta-carotenes, fiber, and other nutrients.

Remember to be cautious with refined carbs, including white bread, pasta, and refined sugar products like soda. Refined carbs create inflammation in the body and reduce energy from the immune system. If you eat a lot of sugary carbs, you’re just helping bacteria thrive, putting your immune system in jeopardy. So, choose carbs that benefit you and your body, especially during those winter workouts.

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