Eat and Drink for Better Running (Recipe: No Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread)

Some nutrition tips for better running!  The quick and dirty!

Vitamin C:  Bolster your immune system with a daily dose of vitamin-C rich fruits and veggies.  Researchers at Technical University of Munich compared the vitamin C intake of 185 runners after the Munich Marathon against their incidents of upper-respiratory-tract infections.  Those who consumed less than 50 milligrams of vitamin C daily (a little less than half a cup of OJ) had a 250% greater rate of URTIs compared with those who consumed 100 milligrams.

Salt:  A couple of hours before your next run, add one to two teaspoons of salt to a sports drink or pre-run meal.  Then drink water as your thirst dictates.  Cyclists in a study at Appalachian State University drank a salt solution two hours before a 60-minute workout, resulting in faster time trials compared with a control group.  The researchers say the salt prompted the riders to drink more before exercise and helped them retain fluids during the workout.

Protein:  Especially when injured, runners should eat protein at every meal and should aim for 0.6 grams per pound of body weight per day.  Inadequate protein intake can lead to further loss of both muscle mass and strength.  Researchers at Maastricht University put a cast on one leg of a group of healthy men.  After 5 days, the men had lost 150 grams of muscle and 10% of their quad strength in their immobile leg.

Caffeine versus Carbs:  Don’t rely on caffeine to get you through your long runs.  Take in 25 grams of carbs every 30 to 45 minutes.  Caffeine beats fatigue; carbs boost energy.  Scientists at Montana State University had subjects consume either a carb-free, five-hour caffeinated energy drink or a sports gel during a 2 hour high-intensity cycling workout.  The gel users had less fatigue and greater power compared with the caffeine-only group.

Tart Cherry Juice:  Twenty runners in the London Marathon drank a placebo or tart cherry juice twice a day pre- and postrace.  Cherry-juice drinkers recovered their strength faster and had less inflammation 48 hours postrace.

Coconut Water:  Coconut water is best as a post-run drink because of its high potassium levels.  However, it is too low in sodium and carbs to replace a sports drink mid-run.

Beet Juice:  Research shows that drinking 16 ounces of beet juice before a workout can boost performance by enhancing the production of nitrous oxide, a compound that increases bloodflow to muscles and enhances muscle force and efficiency.

By the way, speaking of donating blood in my last post, did you know that you can resume training after donating blood with a light workout within 24 hours? However, oxygen-toting red blood cells can take 6 weeks to reach full count which could affect your performance.

In other news, I attended my first UW basketball game the other night with Allison!  The Badgers played horribly!  We have no idea what was going on–they are just falling apart!  But I  have now officially attended Badger Volleyball, Football, Men’s Hockey and Men’s Basketball!  I’m on a roll this year!  And I think a Women’s Hockey game may be on the calendar in the near future… 🙂

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I also saw the movie “Singing in the Rain” for the first time ever recently!  I’ve been missing out!  And today I am off to see August: Osage County–I’ll let you know my review!

Quote of the Day:

“A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” -Walter Bagehot

So, I have officially deemed my Wisconsin Blondie recipe a keeper!  I made them again this week, and they are simple but delicious!  It’s one of those recipes where you will likely have the ingredients on hand whenever you need to make them!  Back in December I also made this No Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  It wasn’t too bad, but I think I can find a better recipe.  I’ll be on the lookout!

No Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread

No Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread


– 4 1/2 cups bread flour
– 1 3/4 cups water, warmed (100-110F)
– 5 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast (2 packages/ .5-oz)
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 1 1/4 tsp salt
– 2/3 cup raisins


1. Place the bread flour in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-40 seconds, until flour is very warm to the touch.

2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup of the water with the yeast and brown sugar. Stir and let stand for 5-10 minutes, until yeast is foamy. Add in the remaining water, cinnamon, vanilla, vegetable oil, salt and about half of the warm flour mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon to combine.

3.1: If using a stand mixer, attach a dough hook and continue adding flour with the mixer on medium. Add flour gradually until dough comes together into a smooth ball and pulls away from the sides. IF dough seems dry, you may not need to add all of the flour. If dough is still sticky, you may need an additional tablespoon or two. Add in raisins. Turn speed up to medium and mix for 1 minute.

3.2: If mixing by hand, gradually add in the remaining flour, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon with each addition. Mix until until dough comes together into a smooth ball and pulls away from the sides. A small amount of flour might be left over. Add in raisins. Continue to push dough around with the wooden spoon for 1 additional minute after dough comes together smoothly and raisins are well distributed.

4. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Turn dough into the loaf pan and cover with a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 30-35 minutes, or until dough rises 1-inch above the sides of the pan.

5. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 400*.

6. Once bread has risen, remove plastic wrap and place loaf pan in the oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bread is dark golden brown.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Courtesy of Baking Bites

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