In an International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise
Metabolism study, people who ate chicken noodle soup before cycling drank and retained more water during the ride than those who just downed H2O. Sodium and other aspects of the soup seem to bring about a change in kidney function that promotes better hydration, and the noodles will give you some necessary energizing carbs for endurance.
Eat This: Pregame Potage
Warm up a quality store-bought soup such as Pacific Organic Chicken Noodle about 30 to 60 minutes before cardio. If you need more
Beyond the benefits of restocking energy stores and healing muscles, British researchers showed that people who consumed protein and carbs in a 3-to-1 ratio after a treadmill run experienced less bone breakdown and increased bone formation. Cottage cheese has all the protein you need for speedy recovery, while add-ins like granola and fruit will please your carb-thirsty muscles.
Eat This: Bone-Bolstering Bowl
Blend together ¾ cup of low-fat cottage cheese, 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 frozen chopped banana. Pour into a bowl and top with raspberries and granola.
PUT A CHERRY ON TOP
Pucker up: Several studies show that the antioxidants in tart cherries (particularly the American-grown Montmorency variety) can promote better recovery from exercise, including decreasing muscle inflammation due to repetitive motions such as running. And when consumed after endurance exercise, the simple carbs in dried fruit are more likely to be stored as glycogen than as fat.
Eat This: Power Wrap
Stir together 1⁄3 cup of ricotta cheese with 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Spread on a whole-grain wrap, and sprinkle with a handful of dried tart cherries.