Fueling for Summer: Cool, Hot Weather Recipes
Working out consistently through hot summer weather can be a challenge. Not only can the heat make running and walking feel more intense, getting the right nutrients to fuel you through it can also be tricky. Cranking the oven or turning on the stove to make a healthy meal is the last thing you want to do when it’s 90° out.
It makes sense to eat lighter in hot weather. Salads, smoothies, fruits, veggies, and nuts are all great options. Just make sure they’re packed with quality, slow-burning carbs, protein, and essential vitamins – all the things your muscles need to maintain and recover. Good hydration and proper fuel will make the summer heat so much easier to manage.
We’ve put together a list of nutrient-packed foods great for boosting energy, building immunity, and preventing inflammation. Some, like nuts, are great on their own – or throw them in other dishes to increase your nutrient intake.
To make your summer nutrition-seeking just a little bit easier, we’ve compiled a few recipes to inspire you. So eat right, cool off, and get in a run or walk today.
Energy-boosting (ideal for pre-workout):
- Cannellini beans – These white beans have twice as much iron as beef. Iron boosts hemoglobin, which carries energizing oxygen to every cell in the body.
- Chia seeds – Packed with protein, Omega 3s, and fiber. Great for hydration because they retain water.
- Nuts – Almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts…the list goes on. While nuts are very high in protein, they’re also high in fat and calories, so be mindful of your consumption. They’re great fuel for long runs or walks.
- Fruits – High in fructose (natural sugar), which is quickly and efficiently processed by our bodies for energy.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods (great for recovery):
- Beets (antioxidants) – Beets help cleanse the liver, purify the blood, and can prevent cancer.
- Berries (antioxidants) – Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc. help rid the body of free radicals to prevent cell damage.
- Cinnamon (antioxidants) – Helps stabilize blood sugar and can lower bad cholesterol.
- Turmeric (anti-inflammation) – Especially good for relieving joint pain.
- Walnuts (antioxidant & anti-inflammation) - Walnuts contain antioxidants that are so powerful at free-radical scavenging that researchers called them "remarkable." Research has shown that walnut polyphenols may help prevent chemically-induced liver damage.
Building Immunity (good anytime):
- Yogurt – Very high in protein, especially Greek yogurt. When added to carbs, protein slows digestion further, for more sustained energy (see our Breakfast recipe below for a great yogurt/carb combo).
- Oats - Have been shown to lower cholesterol and boost heart health. Oats are also high in fiber, making you feel fuller longer.
- Garlic - Contains many antioxidants and powerful sulfur compounds that fight infection and disease.
- Arugula – High levels of Vitamin K in arugula play a crucial role in bone health. It’s also a cancer-fighting food.
Here's a few recipes to get you started – enjoy!
- Breakfast: No-cook Refrigerator Oatmeal
- Lunch/Dinner: Peal Couscous with Walnuts, Dried Cherries, & Arugula
- Recovery: Turmeric Spinach Recovery Smoothie