Mood Enhancing Food For Runners

Mood Enhancing Food For Runners

We all love that runner’s high (it’s one of the reasons we run!) and certain foods can boost feel-good endorphins. Discover this edible natural mood-booster.

Some runs are just blissful, aren’t they? Whether it’s the intense high of a tough race-pace session, or the happy experience of a particularly wonderful long run, we’ve all experienced runs which deliver the “runner’s high”. Did you know that the runner’s high is actually a result of seratonin – also known as the happy hormone? This neurotransmitter is a chemical produced in the brain, which is responsible for a lot more than that feeling of effortless beaming happiness. 

Seratonin also assists us in regulating our hunger signals and appetite, helps us make good food choices (rather than reaching for comfort food), and even leads to us sleeping better. There’s plenty we can do to boost our body’s natural levels of seratonin, leading to better mood, deeper sleep, and even a leaner physique. Yes, seratonin can help us lose weight! 

So, what else can we do to produce seratonin (other than going for a run)? There’s one common food ingredient which we could eat all year round to significantly increase our natural levels of this helpful hormone. Want to know what it is? Turkey. Yes, that classic Christmas meat is great to eat throughout the seasons. Not only is it low in fat, high in protein, and packed with important minerals and micro nutrients. It actually helps the body to produce more seratonin. 

The reason turkey is such a good mood-booster lies in its levels of tryptophan, an amino acid which acts as a precursor to serotonin.

It might sound far-fetched to suggest that eating turkey could have positive effects on treating low-mood, anxiety and insomnia, but studies have shown it really can work. 

So, next time you’re looking for a mood boost, don’t just head out for a run. Fuel up with turkey, too, and get a double whammy of tryptophan!

Running4Women’s Healthy Turkey Meatballs

This recipe is quick, simple and economical. Try it for the whole family.

1 x 500g pack turkey mince

1 egg

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp chilli powder or red chili flakes

2 garlic cloves (chopped or minced)

1 medium white or red onion

4 tbsp tomato paste/puree

Salt and pepper 

Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon or with your hands until evenly mixed.

Form meatballs, patties or burgers.

Bake on foil in a pre-heated oven (180*C) for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the meatballs/patties)

Serve with potatoes and vegetables or salad, over pasta or rice (plain, or with a tomato sauce), or allow to cool and eat as a convenient grab-and-go snack.

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