Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pure Food for Peak Performance

Growing up, it seems we all learned the old adage, ‘you are what you eat.’ Whether it was in nutrition class or from mom, the association between food and health has been ingrained in us throughout life. With the availability of so many types of food, healthy or not, sometimes our better “eating judgment” can become impaired by delicious looking dishes, fancy packaging or artificial foods that might not be serving our bodies well. When it comes to athletic activities, food and performance go hand in hand, and our ability to reach our highest athletic potential is directly associated with the ‘fuel,’ or food, we choose to consume.

Whatever lifestyle you choose to follow, numerous athletes find that eating pure, whole foods is the secret of their success (in addition to many hours of training, of course!).  Avoiding foods that contain artificial ingredients is a must, and choosing foods that offer high nutritional quality versus those that do not is an important step in providing ‘smart fuel’ for your body.

When it comes to diet, Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek believes there is a direct link between nutrition and his running performance. As a vegan, Scott takes his food choices very seriously, and is conscious about every bite he eats. In his words, “As a vegan and an ultramarathoner, eating clean, plant-based foods provides the fuel I need to perform my best. I find that when I eat smart, my body has the energy it needs and I run better, and feel better.”

In addition to ‘eating clean,’ with a focus on eating nutritionally dense foods, many athletes find that supplementing a diet of pure foods with tart cherry juice helps them maintain high energy and recover from muscle use more quickly. As Scott puts it, “I notice an improvement in the way I feel when I eat well and drink cheribundi regularly.”

Unlike some other tart cherry juice on the market, cheribundi is 100% natural, and uses the highest quality fruits in every bottle. Our juicing process was developed by Cornell University food scientists to capture as many of the nutrients found naturally in tart cherries as possible. After our cherries are harvested from American orchards, they're processed gently so that when you drink cheribundi™ it's like eating the cherries straight off the tree. Although not organic, our juice is never from concentrate.

Additionally, cheribundi tart cherry juice is regularly tested for pesticides and other impurities by third party verification organizations. These tests have never found pesticide contamination outside of the FDA guidelines, and we continue to strive to provide the highest quality tart cherry juice out there.

What is your ‘food fuel’ for optimum athletic performance?

1 comment:

  1. My tried and tested pre-race breakfast is oatmeal with cinnamon, honey and banana. For lunch the day before a big run, my favorite meal is grilled fish with sauteed spinach or kale and sweet potato ginger mash, and for dinner, fresh pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes and olive oil. Nice and simple, but using very high quality, nutrient-rich ingredients!

    I LOVE to cook and bake, so on non-race days, I eat a wide variety of things to fuel my runs. I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, but overall, I try to stick to a healthy diet that incorporates plenty of whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat couscous, in particular), fresh fruit and veg and lean protein (particularly fish).

    I'm a huge fan of juices and smoothies, especially as part of my post-run nutrition, so given it's cherry season, I've started to incorporate more cherries into my diet! Just this morning, I made oatmeal with cherries and pistachios (inspired by a recent NY Times recipe) - it was delicious and helped me get through a very active day! Tomorrow, I'll use the remaining cherries to make a cherry-almond smoothie - a nice way to celebrate Friday morning! And hopefully it will also help alleviate some lingering soreness after a 10M race I ran on Sunday...need to stay strong if I hope to run Vegas!!

    -Claire S.