Eat Yourself Out Of Overtraining

3. Add more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Behind protein, fruits and vegetables are an important power food for combatting possible overtraining. Most fruits and vegetables are superfoods for runners who need to focus on recovery because they are nutrient-dense and contain high quantities of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for muscle repair.

How to easily incorporate nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in your diet:

If you’re feeling sluggish and trying to dig yourself out of that ovetraining hole, focus on adding at least one fruit or vegetable to each meal you eat. This will ensure you consume all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need to fuel optimally and repair your muscles.

If you’re looking for the most nutrient-dense fruit, vegetable and legume options, here is a list of the top-30 super foods based on the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) scoring system:

1. Collard, mustard, & turnip greens

2. Kale

3. Watercress

4. Bok choy

5. Spinach

6. Brussels sprouts

7. Swiss chard

8. Arugula

9. Radish

10. Cabbage

11. Bean sprouts

12. Red peppers

13. Romaine lettuce

14. Broccoli

15. Carrot juice

16. Tomatoes & tomato products

17. Cauliflower

18. Strawberries

19. Pomegranate juice

20. Blackberries

21. Plums

22. Raspberries

23. Blueberries

24. Papaya

25. Brazil nuts

26. Oranges

27. Tofu

28. Beans (all varieties)

29. Seeds: flaxseed, sunflower, sesame

30. Walnuts

Sample Diet For The Overtrained Runner

Reading general nutritional advice can often be a little confusing. I’ve explained here how to eat yourself out of overtraining, but how does it all come together in a daily diet?

Below is a sample diet for the average runner fighting off overtraining. Note, you won’t see serving sizes because each person’s caloric needs are going to be different. However, you can use the calorie calculator for runners, as well as nutrition labels or nutrition tracking websites to tailor this diet specifically for you.

Wake-up: Whey protein shake (to stop nightime anabolic process)

Breakfast 1: Oatmeal with berries (raspberry, blueberry, or blackberries) and wheat germ. Honey for taste.

Breakfast 2:  Reduced fat Greek yogurt with fruit

Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwhich and small spinach salad with peppers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, tuna, and sunflower seeds. Use a small amount of olive oil or mandarin oranges for dressing if needed.

Midday snack: Oranges or handful of nuts (Brazilian, walnut, pistachio)

Dinner: Salmon with brown rice and asparagus

Nightime snack: Cottage cheese with strawberries.

Post-workout nutrition: Recovery drink or sports drink and an energy bar.

Mix and match some of your favorite fruits and vegetables with this sample meal plan, be sure to consume an extra 300-500 calories per day, and eat yourself back on track to feeling fresh, recovered, and ready to train hard.

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