I had a long bike session yesterday around noon and it felt great. After I had a veggie sandwich with avocado and a mixed greens salad around 1pm followed by a lot of water. Around 3pm I crashed. I felt incredibly exhausted and I could barely keep my eyes open. Sitting in my desk chair was almost painful. I knew I had to get up and move around and I knew I needed to eat something. Looking around I found an orange and slowly peeled into it. Eating wedge after wedge I started to feel more awake. About 30 minutes after the orange I felt peppy, alert, and ready to tackle the rest of the day. So what was it about that magical fruit that got me through the afternoon?
Runner's World also wrote an article about Best Foods for Runners and listed oranges as one of the foods because of their high Vitamin C levels which help alleviate soreness.
Nancy Clark (RD, Sports Nutritionist) recommends eating whole fruits that contain potassium that is lost during sweating. Oranges are rich in potassium and carbohydrates replenishing that which was lost while sweating during activity.
Getting the fiber from an orange is important, but drinking orange juice is good too. An eight ounce glass of orange juice has 450mg of potassium and 26g of carbohydrates, which is more than chocolate milk, low-fat milk, and gatorade. Potassium allows fluids and nutrients to flow through your body - without it your muscles can't generate nerve impulses that control muscle contraction.
I was amazed at how I almost instantly felt better after eating an orange after a workout. I'm definitely going to keep this fruit stocked and ready to go to help avoid the smack-in-the-face sluggishness I was feeling post-workout.