Friday, May 8, 2015

Running, nutrition and arthritis

I used to be a fair-weather kind of runner. I rarely (willingly) went out for a run in the rain and usually only in the warmest of winter conditions. At the time, that was a struggle. Now, I get to also consider how much pain I'm currently in and if the upcoming run will exacerbate it. This week I've been reading a lot about arthritis and nutrition, having resigned myself to the fact that I'm doing the worst sport possible for my pain, but yet I want to continue. There are only so many factors a person can control and nutrition is certainly one of them. So, how does a runner combine a high protein, mostly vegetarian diet with an anti-inflammatory one? Side with the nutrition plan that causes the least amount of inflammation, which equals pain. I'm still eating protein of course but now I'm watching to make sure that protein isn't fried or contains an additive like Omega 3, both of which cause a build up of inflammation. I'm eating berries, grapes and whole foods as much as possible and trying really, really hard not to eat French fries or cookies. On the up side, if there is one, the pain medication has been making me a bit nauseous lately so my night-time overeating hasn't been an issue. The frustrating thing is, when you're in a lot of pain all you want to do is eat comfort food, but with arthritis that's the worst thing a person can do. Yesterday was a bit tough, and I questioned if eating like this would have any benefit, but yet today I woke up with a few twinges of pain but not the level I expected after having run 6km the night before (typically I've been in serious pain for days afterwards). Maybe there is something to this anti-inflammatory nutrition after all...

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