As we approach spring, the running calendar invariably becomes filled with a myriad of appealing and challenging races. Shaking off the base-miles of winter means upping the training, and, subsequently, the need for nutrient filled foods.
The difficulty, of course, is being able to equate these increased levels of hunger during working hours and preparing yourself for a post 5pm run. A banana or cereal bar has long been the energy boost prior to a run. Yet, advice from experts in the lead up to the Virgin London Marathon suggest we turn our attention to almonds.
Almonds are regarded as a powerhouse that stores 15 essential nutrients, including a natural source of protein to help the growth or maintenance of muscle mass. They contain the most calcium of any tree nut, important for helping to build strong bones. In addition, almonds contain high levels of vitamin E, which is said to boost recovery time after exercising.
Former top athlete and personal trainer to celebrities, Julie Ferrez comments: "Almonds are a key part of my personal fitness programme - I have been eating them as a daily snack for as long as I can remember. Now that I'm in a position to pass my advice on, I always recommend a handful of almonds to my clients because of their nutritional benefits."
Julie continues: "Almonds are the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack; when training I eat a handful of almonds with a cup of green tea around 11am. It's my antioxidant top up and the almonds also help repair my muscles and give me a boost before lunch."
For more information on its nutritional benefits and recipes, visit the California Almonds website. Alternatively, are there any diehards out there who refuse to deviate from a banana or toast and peanut butter? Let us know!