Green Tea: Remember the blog I wrote on the dangers of ibuprofen use during exercise (http://ingoodhealthfdl.agnesian.com/2012/12/23/ibuprofen-and-exercise/)? There are foods that have anti-inflammatory properties that are much easier on your gut versus taking ibuprofen. Leslie Bonchi, RD stated in Bicycling Magazine (December 2012) that green tea or tart cherry juice before exercise, or adding fresh grated ginger to a smoothie, would help decrease post-exercise inflammation.
Tomatoes: Sip tomato juice to decrease your body’s production of cell-damaging free radicals during exercise. Researchers found that when 15 volunteers pedaled for 20 minutes at 80 percent of their max, their markers of oxidative stress (or free radicals) rose an average of 42 percent. When the subjects drank five ounces of tomato juice, which contains 15 milligrams of the antioxidant lycopene, every day for five weeks, those markers stayed level after they did the same cycling test. Bonus – by drinking V-8 after exercise, you will also replace sodium lost through sweat. (Featured in Bicycling Magazine October 2012)
Fat: Endurance athletes have often used carbo-loading to fuel their event or race. A new study in the journal Nutrients reports that consuming too many carbs on race day can cause glycogen stores to deplete faster because the body has less fat available for fuel. In the study, athletes carbo-loaded for three days, then ate a high fat meal four hours prior to an endurance test. They lasted 10 minutes longer than those who ate another high-carb meal. Make sure to have a little fat (eggs, avocado, or bacon) on race day three to four hours before your event. (Bicycling Magazine January 2013)