SCIENCE NEWSNEW

How to get more en­ergy

Trail Running (UK) - - Contents - Words Ruth Jones

HYDRATE FOR HEALTH

It may sound glar­ingly ob­vi­ous, but drink­ing more wa­ter will see your en­ergy lev­els and over­all health rocket, a large-scale Amer­i­can study has proved. A sur­vey of 18,000 peo­ple, pub­lished by the Na­tional Cen­ter for Health Sta­tis­tics, showed that in­takes of sugar, salt and saturated fat dras­ti­cally de­creased when par­tic­i­pants drank just one ex­tra cup of wa­ter a day. So im­prove your health and vi­tal­ity, and stay hy­drated this sum­mer.

SHARE THE LOAD

Nearly two thirds of fit­ness fa­nat­ics quizzed by Vir­gin Sport say that ex­er­cis­ing with a part­ner means they are more likely to keep it up. Of mil­lenials sur­veyed – those born from the early ’80s to early ’00s – 65% said they pre­fer to work out with com­pany, claim­ing moral sup­port is a key mo­ti­va­tor. But don’t as­sume your spouse is your best bet as an encouraging run­ning buddy – more than half of those asked would pick their best mate in­stead!

EAT FOR EN­ERGY

Dopamine is re­spon­si­ble for the en­ergy-giv­ing rush of en­dor­phins to the brain that hap­pens when you’re happy, like when you’re tear­ing down a rugged des­cent on a trail. Many peo­ple turn to junk food for a quick hit of dopamine, but that comes with a side or­der of un­healthy fats, salts and sug­ars. In­stead, try this ba­nana ice cream: chop up a few bananas, freeze for two hours, blend un­til smooth, then freeze again. Sim­ple, de­li­cious and en­ergy-boost­ing.

MAKE STRIDES

Stairs are the new cof­fee for of­fice-based run­ners look­ing for a nat­u­ral boost at work, with just ten min­utes of step-climb­ing enough to in­crease mo­ti­va­tion and en­ergy lev­els. In a Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia study, par­tic­i­pants ei­ther took 50 mil­ligrams of caf­feine or spent ten min­utes walk­ing stairs. The stair-climbers re­ported higher lev­els of en­ergy than the pill-pop­pers. So, next time you’re out trail run­ning, head for the hills!

SOAK UP THE SUN

Vi­ta­min D – ab­sorbed from sun­light and from cer­tain foods, such as oily fish – can im­prove mus­cle func­tion and af­fect bone and teeth health, among other key ben­e­fits. Now re­searchers at the John Hop­kins Univer­sity School of Medicine have sug­gested that ex­er­cise might boost vi­ta­min D stores, which in turn aids heart health when the sub­ject is fit and main­tains those lev­els. Trail run fol­lowed by re­vi­tal­is­ing salmon on the ve­randa, any­one?

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