Nibble on your favourites for fuel and recovery.
Like other seeds, pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, come loaded with good-for-you minerals. For just 28 grams and 669 kilojoules, you’ll get 15 per cent of your copper, zinc and iron needs, and 40 per cent of your magnesium needs. Magnesium works with the carbs stored in your muscles, so when intake is poor, it can cause muscle weakness.
Out of the shell, an ounce supplies 25 per cent of copper and 30 per cent of selenium needs – both play an integral role in protecting the muscles. The seeds are also extremely high in vitamin E, clocking in at 80 per cent.
These are a great addition to a runner’s trail mix. Thanks to a hefty dose of antioxidants, the dried fruit has been shown to reduce inflammation caused by muscle damage due from tough runs. One study found that marathoners who drank tart cherry juice twice daily for a few days before and after a marathon had less inflammation and better recovery compared to those who drank a placebo.
Dried Turkish Apricots
These provide 30 grams of carbohydrates, per 42g serving – the perfect amount for fuelling during a workout. Apricots are a good source of carotene, as indicated by their orange colour. What’s more? You’ll also get a hit of iron and potassium.
Dark Chocolate Almonds
You’ll be hard-pressed to find something so good for you that also taste so delicious. Dark chocolate has anthocyanidins, a type of flavonoid that may improve heart health. Combined with vitamin E-packed, heart-healthy almonds, you can’t go wrong with this treat. (Just don’t eat the whole bag!)
This chocolate alternative is caffeine-free and is high in good-for-you polyphenols. Studies have found that carobs (as powder or chips) can help lower blood cholesterol. Like chocolate chips in trail mix though, carob chips are high in sugar, so use sparingly, and fill up on nuts.