Quinoa: Fuel For Runners

A fitness lifestyle goes hand-in-hand with a nutritious meal. Kickstart your running journey with the perfect meal partner- Quinoa

Running is one of the easiest ways of staying fit but getting the right diet is not always that easy. How many times might you have planned to start running or going to the gym and have been in a dilemma about what to eat/drink? There are far too many options available and well-meaning, if unasked-for advice, often makes the matter more confusing.

Despite the number of fancy items like protein shakes, energy bars, energy drinks, etc. available, always remember – food is an integral part of a diet plan. Most gymming enthusiasts or runners seem to indulge in all of this but forget that a balanced diet is the most important component of a healthy lifestyle. For example, proteins are the darling of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. However, a precise and detailed calculation of carbohydrates is proportionately needed to not let the energy levels of a person drop.

Ingestion of 100 grams of carbohydrates after resistance exercise increases net muscle protein balance, a measurement of muscle growth vs muscle breakdown. Not only is it important to feed your muscle the carbohydrates they need to promote glycogen synthesis but it’s also crucial to ingest protein to stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit what’s known as proteolysis (protein breakdown). In short, protein and carbohydrates are both needed for effective, post-exercise meals, which are important as they increase growth hormone levels.

This is where quinoa comes in. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 39.4 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein, which are not available in other cereals. Quinoa is more economical than protein shakes available in the market. Including meat, fish or eggs in the diet can be an alternative but these also have a good portion of fats, which many would not prefer. Quinoa is also a powerhouse when it comes to vitamins and minerals, which are necessary to build muscle effectively.
Let’s recap why quinoa is a perfect post-exercise meal:
• Quinoa has a superior quality of protein as compared to animal protein. Also, animal protein has a higher fat percentage, which quinoa lacks.
• Quinoa is a low GI food yet has more complex carbohydrates that can maintain the glycogen stores.
• It gives similar quality and quantity of protein as compared to some of the protein supplements available in the market while being inexpensive.
• It has large quantities of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibres.

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