This post has been sponsored by Arla Protein. All thoughts an opinions are my own.
I’m going to show you an easy and convenient recipe for before/after exercise using Arla Protein Strawberry Pouches as part of their wider Arla Protein range. But first, lets focus on what to eat…
Carbohydrates for Runners
As runners, we need carbohydrates.They make up 50-65% of the energy used when we’re on the run and as such, we need to ensure we’re eating enough throughout the day to fuel our workouts. Carbs provide the largest single source of energy in our diets, between 45-65%.
Typically a runner’s need between 6-10g carbohydrates per kg body weight a day. Instead of thinking of ways of cutting carbs, as runners, many of us should be thinking of how we can add carbohydrates to our diets.
What type of carbohydrates are best?
Simple carbohydrates (such as glucose and fructose) are broken down and absorbed quickly into the bloodstream to give a fast energy boost. Real food versions are found in fruit, milk, yogurt (like Arla Protein Strawberry Pouches), cakes and juices.
Complex carbohydrates, also known as polysaccharides, are made up of multiple sugar groups linked together. This makes it harder for the body to break them down, slowing down the release of energy into the bloodstream and giving you a longer- lasting energy burn. Examples are potatoes, quinoa or wholegrain rice these are the types of carbs you want to have with most meals to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day, fuelling you through your workout, job, social life and whatever else you tackle. They are also key for longer runs/workouts, typically in combination with simple carbohydrates to replenish glucose when your stores start to get low. An example would be having a bowl of oats and a banana for breakfast before a 14- mile run, then consuming an ‘energy gel’ at 7 miles to keep you powered up to the end of the run.
‘When athletes compete in endurance events, it is carbohydrates, not fat-based fuels that are the predominant fuel for the working muscles, and carbohydrate, not fat, availability that become rate limiting for performance.’
Hawley and Leckey, Sports Medicine, 2015
Did you know that low carbohydrate intake can cause a number of symptoms;
- reduced endurance capacity
- limited post workout recovery and increased risk of injury
- struggling with high intensity efforts
- mood swings/irritability
- difficulty focusing
If you struggle with any of these things, try upping your carb intake! You might be surprised how quickly you see a change.
Strawberry & Chocolate Yogurt Bark
This delicious dessert can be stored in the freezer for a great combo of carbs and protein to enjoy after a workout or as a sweet treat after dinner. With 20g protein in each one, these convenient yogurt pouches are so tasty on their own if you’re short of time!
2 x 200g Arla Strawberry Protein Pouch
25g dark chocolate, finely chopped
180g strawberries, thinly sliced
1tbsp cacao nibs
1tbsp pumpkin seeds
Squeeze out the yogurt onto a large piece of parchment into a thick layer, spread out to cover.
Scatter over the cut strawberries, cacao nibs and pumpkin seeds and carefully transfer to the freezer. Freeze for 2 hours or until set.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Drizzle the chocolate over the frozen yogurt and return to freezer for 5 mins or until chocolate is set.
Cut into large pieces and then serve. Or freeze in a tupperware for up to 1 month, leave out for 15 mins before serving.