The Japanese Runner's Diet
Japanese food is known for its distinctive taste - created by contrasting flavours and a variety of ingredients, it has conquered the world and can be found in any major city on the globe.
The Japanese word Umami (which can be translated as pleasant, savoury taste) is a useful term to describe those exquisitely balanced dishes, a great mixture of proteins, vegetables and grains together with fragrant herbs and spices: Soy, galangal, wasabi and ginger - just to name a few.
The country has one of the highest life expectancies in the world with an average age of 85 years (compared to 79 years in the U.S.) and many scientists believe that the reason can be found in the healthy and diverse diet.
And in fact, the Japanese are among the most obsessed with running with almost every town having its own annual marathon race, so it seems obvious that their way of cooking is favourable to achieving top performance.
Less Red Meat
Unlike the Western Cuisine, Japanese cooking includes only few red meats - which contain many saturated fats that can clog the arteries and - if eaten in high amounts - can lead to heart problems. Being the country on earth with the highest per capita consumption of seafood, Japan has some amazing specialties (including pufferfish and eel) to offer which are a much healthier alternative to the red meat the western hemisphere is used to.
The Advantages of Sushi
Containing the three essential nutrients every athlete needs - a lot of proteins, fats (the healthy ones) and carbohydrates - Sushi is the perfect food for runners, especially for those going for long distances.
The main ingredient being rice seasoned with vinegar, it's usually prepared together with various types of fish or vegetables which can be easily digested by your body. The seaweed used for Sushi rolls is the secret ingredient providing your body with calcium and rare vitamins to boost your immune system.
While most components are super-beneficial, you should keep the soy sauce intake to a minimum, in particular when running in the heat because of its high amount of sodium. But don't worry - in small amounts it's known to lower blood pressure and keep down cholesterol.
Japanese Green Tea is among the healthiest beverages on the planet. It's loaded with antioxidants to help you to improve brain function and fat loss. A study involving 240 participants found out that the group consuming green tea showed significantly higher decreases in body fat percentages than the other control group. So, if you are planning to lose some weight, Japanese Green Tea might be the perfect drink for your future challenges.
After having mentioned just a few examples, it's safe to say that not only the food but the general way of living in Japan contains numerous benefits to your health and definitely can improve your performance while running - try it yourself and join us in our Tokyo Spirit Run 23rd of July!
Your VirtualRunners Family
In the spirit of the Olympic Games, we conduct the Tokyo Spirit Run on July 25th. Start together with sports friends from all over the world over 3km / 1.9mi, 5 km / 3.1mi, 7.5km / 4.7mi, 10 km / 6.2 mi, 15km / 9.3mi, half marathon or marathon and get your very special Tokyo Spirit medal. Run at any of the three days.
Picture 1: imtmphoto via unsplash
Picture 2 : Daniel via unplash
Picture 3 : Mahmoud Fawzy via unplash
Picture 4 : Jia Ye via unplash