Runner's World (UK)
TAILOR YOUR TRAINING
Research has found that doing your own take on workouts can help you perform better
One big factor in your race times is something called your running economy, which is a measure of how much oxygen you consume at a given pace. Improve your running economy and, like a car that gets better mileage from the amount of petrol in it, you’ll go faster or further at the same effort level, thanks to greater efficiency. You’re probably familiar with some of the ways to boost your running economy, such as fast intervals, hill repeats, plyometrics, lower-body weight training, form drills and (up to a point) lighter running shoes. But research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences suggests a fun addition
Curcumin (found in turmeric) has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, alleviating or minimising a number of health issues. Studies have also shown it can lessen nasal symptoms and nasal congestion through the reduction of nasal-airflow resistance, making turmeric a great choice for upping pre-run resistance. Curcumin has a quite low bioavailability when consumed through the diet, so as well as including turmeric in your food and drink, consider a supplement if hay fever is an issue.
As well as turmeric, include plenty of anti-inflammatory foods in your diet (eg leafy greens, berries and oily fish). It’s also worth making an extra effort to avoid inflammatory foods. These include heavily processed foods, alcohol and refined vegetable oils. Any foods that are a trigger to you may also amplify allergy symptoms. Some studies suggest diets higher in meats, poultry and seafood pose a greater risk for hay fever, so look out for plant-protein options, too.
Now is the time to up your intake of vitamin C, one of the most important immunity vitamins out there. The anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties of vitamin C mean it could help calm reactions and boost your defences against them. Include plenty of vegetables and some fruits in your diet; try broccoli, kiwis, oranges and kale, or consider a supplement this summer.
Along with a diet rich in vitamin C, try adding a natural antihistamine supplement such as quercetin to your diet; it is found in apples, red onions, and green and black tea. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which is a natural remedy for swelling and inflammation of the sinuses, so throw some pineapple into your pre-run smoothie for an anti-allergy energy hit.
It’s unlikely you’ll cure your hay fever through diet alone, but there are steps you can take to lessen the symptoms. Packing your diet with these allergyfighting foods is an excellent start. It’s also worth investing in a supplement such as Unbeelievable Bee Prepared Max Strength (unbeelievablehealth. co.uk), which combines immunesupporting ingredients to lessen the symptoms of hay fever and colds.