Keep It Cool

It's been HOT. Super extremely hot. But you can beat the cool with health-boosting foods while working out.

1. Run Longer-
Snow cones and Slushies.
A 2011 study found that having a slushie flavored with sugar syrup prerun can help you run 20% longer than drinking cold water with the same amount of syrup. The slushies cools you down better then cold water, preventing overheating. Top shaved ice with real fruit syrups. Or blend up frozen berries, juice and honey. Pour over shaved ice.

2. Combat Inflammation
Cold Soups
Refreshing, chilled soups made from colorful vegetables offer a wide range of antioxidants that help combat inflammation that causes soreness. Soups made from fresh summer fruits make for a healthy dessert that packs carbs and fiber. Make gazpacho; puree one pound yellow tomatoes and half a cucumber. Add a cup of kefir, garnish with basil.

3. Boost Immune Health
Frozen Yogurt
A new wave of frozen yogurt shops has introduced the creamy dessert with a tart kick. Compared to grocery store versions, this fro-yo contains more live cultures that promote gastrointestinal health and boost immune system strength. Top vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh fruit and chopped nuts for added antioxidants and healthy fats.

4. Increase Circulation
Popsicles can be healthy-just check the ingredient list. Store-bought brands made from real fruit and with no added sugar supply vitamin C and potassium; both are vital for healthy circulation. Make your own pops. Blend up your favorite summer fruit; pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

5. Speed Recovery
Fruit Smoothies
Creamy and cool, fruit smoothies provide everything you need to recover post workout, including carbs and protein. Plus, a recent study found that fruit extracts can help lower measures of oxidative stress following a strength training session. Whether store-bought or homemade, make sure your smoothie has about 15 grams of muscle-building protein.

6. Cut Back On Fat
Gelato actually has fats butterfat than ice cream. A half cup contains 150 calories and four grams of fat, versus 200 or more calories and 8 grams of fat for ice cream. Look for gelato made with real fruit and stick to a half cup.

From Runners World, August 2011.

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