Fruit is a healthy way to re-fuel before and after a run. In my never ending quest to become a stronger runner, I’ve been reading a lot about nutrition lately.

Most of us know we should strive to get at least 2 to 4 servings of fruit a day, to some this may be no big deal, but to others this may seem impossible. We may not know is what exactly a serving of fruit is

If you live in America super size portions are a normalcy, this not only applies to meals at McDonalds, but also to our fruit.

The serving size for an apple is one medium sized apple. We commonly eat one large apple – one large apple equals two servings! In one small step you met the minimum daily requirement for fruit. A large banana is actually equal to two – three servings rather than the one serving one small banana would give you. Drink twelve oz of orange juice and you did it again – two servings rather than one.

Eat a banana as part of your breakfast, an apple as a mid-day snack, and some canned fruit as an after dinner dessert and you may have eaten seven servings of fruit!

According to Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, the top choices for fruit are: citrus fruits and juices, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwis, strawberries, and other berries.

I stopped drinking juice many years ago, believing that in order to loose weight I needed to eliminate any drink from my diet that contained calories. I may reconsider after learning this, “Just eight ounces of orange juice provides more than the daily reference intake of 75 milligrams of vitamin C, all the potassium you might have lost in an hour-long workout, and folic acid, a B vitamin needed for building protein and red blood cells and protecting against heart disease. Orange juice also has fewer calories and more nutrients than many other juices.”

Juice not your idea of a tasty snack? Bananas are a great option for runners because they are highly portable, low-fat, and high-fiber. Throw one in your car to eat after a run, in your gym bag for after a lifting session.

As you train for summer and fall races, remember to pay attention to not only your runs but your nutrition. If you feed your body good-for-you foods, it will repay you by performing better. Feed it crap and it will most likely give you crap back :)

**quote taken from Nancy Clark’s Sport Nutrition Guidebook, 3rd edition

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