A Mediterranean Diet Bonus For Runners
If you want to run faster, planning your meals based on the Mediterranean diet could speed you up in just four days. A small new study from St. Louis University found that eating the Mediterranean way helped participants run five kilometers (5K) six percent faster than they did after eating a Western diet. The seven women and four men participating ran a 5K on two separate days – the first time after four days on a Mediterranean diet and nine to 16 days later after four days on a Western diet. Lead researcher Edward Weiss, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and dietetics, said he and his team hypothesized that the Mediterranean diet’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, more alkaline pH and dietary nitrates might lead to improved exercise performance. He said the study results provide evidence that a diet known to be good for health is also good for exercise performance. He noted, however, that the benefits seen in the study were quickly lost when the participants switched back to the Western diet.
Edward P. Weiss et al, “Short-Term Mediterranean Diet Improves Endurance Exercise Performance: A Randomized-Sequence Crossover Trial.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, February 13, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2019.1568322
Also in this week’s bulletin: