Crunchy Or Smooth: Peanut Butter Is The Bomb!

After my long run yesterday (16 tough miles, I think my body is still recovering from being sick), I made myself a bagel. Planning to top it with peanut butter, I pulled a jar of Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator Natural Peanut Butter out of the fridge (I keep it there to prevent the oil from rising to the top of the jar—it’s a little harder to spread, but cuts back on all that stirring). While waiting for the toaster to do its thing, I ended up sitting on a stool in the kitchen spooning the contents of the last half of the jar into my mouth. (I was forced to smear cherry preserves on that bagel instead.)

While I would never suggest downing more than a cup of peanut butter in one sitting (a proper serving size is two tablespoons), I’m not too worried about all the fat and calories in the sticky stuff because it’s the good kind. Here’s what I mean by that: Peanut butter is loaded with protein (about 8 grams per serving), which is essential for muscle growth and repair. And the fat found in peanuts is monounsaturated—the heart-healthy kind that has been shown to lower bad cholesterol. It’s also a great source of niacin, folic acid, and vitamin E. Hello, post-run recovery super food!

And PB goes well with so much more than just J. I like to stir it into oatmeal, swipe it on apples and bananas, and whip it up into smoothies. Don’t even get me started on the magic combo of peanut butter and chocolate. One of my favorite treats: A spoonful of peanut butter sprinkled with chocolate chips. Yum!

Countdown To The Boston Marathon: 14 Days!

What do you like to eat after a tough workout? Are you a peanut butter fan, too? 

Originally posted in Running With It on Shape.com.

Who’s Thirsty?

I get a lot of junk mail, mostly catalogs for home stores, but every once in a while I open something I can actually use. Case in point: A pamphlet on hydration from the American Road Race Medical Society (ARRMS) showed up at my apartment recently. Just in time to help me figure out my drinking strategy for the Boston Marathon! (I also got a discount coupon for a final resting place from a funeral home—let’s hope I don’t need that one any time soon.)

To figure out how much water you should be sipping, you need to calculate how much you lose from sweating. ARRMS recommends weighing yourself naked, going for a one-hour session in the conditions and at the pace you expect to race, and then stripping down, toweling off, and stepping on the scale again. The difference in ounces is the amount of water you should be consuming DURING a run. For example, if you’ve lost 12 ounces, you should be guzzling 4 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Drink too little and you risk dehydration, too much and you could end up flooding your body.

I don’t have a scale at home, so I haven’t been able to crunch my numbers yet, but I’m planning to hit a gym soon. I carry a water bottle with me on runs longer than an hour, and typically take a swig when I’m thirsty, so this might change how I approach hydration on race day.

Count Down To The Boston Marathon: 18 Days!

Do you drink during workouts?

Originally posted in Running With It on Shape.com.