Thanksgiving for runners – a very special day, right? Every year on Thanksgiving I lace up and go for a smooth 13 mile run. A pre “Turkey Burn Run” basically. This year though I will be watching the Thanksgiving Parade in the city (yay) which is why I will skip the run and enjoy the holiday in full affect.
Thanksgiving for runners – what should we eat? It’s not a secret that I’m eating pretty healthy and clean and pay attention on my macros every day. First off: Thanksgiving dieting is a terrible idea. It is a holiday and we should be able to enjoy it without paying too much attention on our diet, but there are some tricks & tips how to eat healthy and beneficial as a runner.
Best Foods To Eat On Thanksgiving
#1 Beets: Rich in nitrates beets is the perfect side for a amazing Thanksgiving for runners. Our body converts nitrates to nitrites a precursor for nitric oxide. Pretty awesome because beet dilates blood vessels and therefore aids in the delivery of blood and oxygen to working muscles. As an important role in a lot of intracellular processes such as muscle contraction beet does only good for you on Thanksgiving. I take beet capsules all year long as part of my supplementation by the way. It helps my running economy because it is altering the energy cost of running.
#2 Cranberry: Make sure that this super fruit is part of your Thanksgiving dish. With only 50 calories per cup this fiber-rich side for your Turkey will fill you up without making you feel that you have eaten too much. Eating healthy on Thanksgiving will be so much fun. You will see how amazing you’ll feel after eating only healthy food.
#3 Broccoli and brussel sprouts: Greens, Greens, Greens. I love both of them and they have a very special place on my diet plan every week not only on Thanksgiving. Broccoli and brussel sprouts have a lot of benefits: They contain a host of valuable metabolites, which are effective in chemoprevention of cancer; contain disease-fighting and immune-boosting phytonutrients; and are rich in essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid. Roast some brussel sprouts and serve them alongside the Turkey. Broccoli goes very well as a regular side or in a soup.
#4 Kale: Are you ready for some calcium? Kale is one of my favorites Thanksgiving dishes because it offers a lot of calcium, iron and potassium. All pretty important nutrients for runners. With only 33 calories per cup Kale should definitively be on your shopping list for your Thanksgiving meal for runners.
#5 Sweet potatoes: Leave the butter in the fridge, don’t add sugar or marshmallows and enjoy one of the best carbohydrates for runners on Thanksgiving. It’s a great side dish for your turkey and goes well with everything listed so far.
#6 The Turkey: You may know that as a runner your protein intake has to be much higher than the rest of the people you are surrounded with on Thanksgiving. So don’t feel bad eating an extra portion of the delicious meat. Actually the protein helps you with muscle recovery, bone-boosting phosphorus, and all-important zinc (it’s hard to find a body process or body structure that isn’t impacted in some way by zinc). Your Thanksgiving turkey will be amazing when it comes to your protein intake for the day. Just make sure not to eat the high in calorie skin of the bird.
Here is an overview of what Turkey offers for you nutrition wise:
3 oz turkey light meat, skinless, roasted:
134 calories, 25 g protein, 3 g fat (0.9 g saturated), 259 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 1.7 mg zinc, 59 mg cholesterol
What about alcohol on Thanksgiving?
Do everything in moderation. That is what I always recommend. I wrote an article about how alcohol affects your performance earlier this year and basically it is all about the right amount. I may have one or two glasses of white wine for dinner. I’m not a huge drinker anyways. But even if you feel like drinking on Thanksgiving – you work hard all year long. Do whatever makes you feel happy and comfortable. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!