by Jane Grates
Runners are a competitive group by nature. Whether they can log more miles, run faster, eat more healthily, or sleep more each night, when it comes to improvement runners will often do anything they can to gain a competitive edge.
Fortunately, the medical profession tends to agree that the things runners can do to elevate their game are things that would benefit most people’s health in general, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, consuming more whole grains than refined, sleeping more, drinking enough water, and exercising more often than not. Unfortunately, though, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there. Anyone who has ever logged onto the internet, even once, knows that there are no fewer than a million “best diets” information published online, all with “leading expert opinion” espousing why one is better than another.
The disagreement as to which types of foods are best for runners can be frustrating and troubling. Worst case scenario, runners eat something and later find themselves mid-run with a case of “runner’s trots” or “code brown” -- an urgent, gastrointestinal emergency -- which most every runner has endured at least once in his/her running exploits.
It’s important for runners to be cognizant of both what they’re eating and when they’re eating it, relative to when they’ll begin their runs. Typically speaking, foods that are very “heavy” in nature -- such as those that are fried, very rich in fiber or otherwise bulky/cruciferous, or those that are laden with lots of dairy or cheese products -- can quickly upset runners’ stomachs. Remember: during the act of running, blood flow to the stomach and to the digestive tract gets shunted in preference to other bodily systems. That, combined with the pounding from each footstrike during a run, and the inherent organ jostling that comes with pounding hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of time during a run, can lead to a gastrointestinal disaster.
So: are chickpeas good before running, specifically? Let’s explore.
Chickpeas are rich in carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. When it comes to macronutrient breakdown, the humble chickpea or garbanzo bean is a bang for your buck. The legume is an excellent source of both protein and fiber, and more often than not, it’s a very inexpensive purchase. Dollar for dollar -- or penny for penny -- you’ll likely get more mileage, proverbially speaking, from this little legume than from other comparable foods.
Chickpeas have an excellent vitamin and mineral profile. Again, this humble legume contains impressive amounts of vitamins and minerals, all of which have been linked to a healthy diet. They include phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, zinc, iron, vitamin B-6, folate, and more.
Chickpeas can help with satiety. No doubt due to their impressive macronutrient and micronutrient breakdown, chickpeas can be hugely helpful in appetite satiety. In other words: eating chickpeas can often make you feel fuller, faster. If you’re eating or snacking on chickpeas, you will likely feel less inclined to eat lots of other foods simply because you won’t be hungry for them!
Chickpeas after running: yay or nay? YAY, absolutely! When it comes to post-run recovery, particularly after a strenuous workout or a long run, refueling with chickpeas may be just what the doctor (or dietitian) ordered. Because they have such an excellent nutritional profile, they can be excellent sources to help aid in the cellular- and muscular-level repair processes bodies undertake after strenuous efforts. Whether you’re tossing them in salads, making your own hummus and falafel, or being creative with these mighty little guys, chickpeas as a post-run recovery option is definitely a viable way to go.
Next time you’re preparing for a run, consider having a chickpea-rich meal on hand for afterward to help aid in your body’s recovery and repair processes like Biena Snacks! Biena Snacks has plenty of options to choose from such as Sea Salt, Honey Roasted, and Habanero! Not only will your body thank you, but so, too, will your taste buds!
AUTHOR’S BIO: JANE GRATES
A hiking enthusiast and a vegan. Operating at the junction of simplicity and intellectual purity to craft experiences that go beyond design. She also writes reviews and recommendations on Runnerclick, ThatSweetGift, NicerShoes and GearWeAre.