If there is one food that I hear associated with runners and athletes in general, it is pasta! The carbs in pasta are great for helping fuel you through even your toughest workouts. The connection between running and pasta has grown to the pint where many running clubs and racing organizations will host pasta parties the night before a big race. There are 2 problems though, and people are not getting nearly what they should be out of their pasta.
- Most runners tend to eat white pasta, wheat, and other pasta that lack high quality nutrients. The bleached, heavily processed, and even enriched pastas are not nearly as good for you as people think they are.
- The whole wheat pastas (whole wheat = good, regular wheat = processed) are known for tasting, well, BAD! Personally, I do not mind the taste. I love whole wheat pasta, pancakes, bread and English muffins. For most people though, this is not the case.
So, do you suck it up and eat the foods that you do not like, focusing on your health, or do you eat the foods that are not nearly as good for you, but they taste better? You don’t need to choose! There are more and more new pastas coming out that are nutrient packed, and YES, they taste GREAT! There is even a variety to choose from, so that you can find the one that works best for you. Let’s take a look at some of your choices.
If you are looking for a nutritionally PACKED pasta, check out quinoa, although I always think of the guano scene from Ace Ventura 2 when I see it. Don’t worry they are 2 different things! Native to South America, this pasta is a blend of quinoa and corn flour. The blend helps it taste more like traditional white pasta. Except it is a whole lot healthier!
Brown Rice Pasta
This option has been around for a while, but thankfully has improved over recent years. Once known for being gritty, the brown rice pastas available today are more chewy and hearty. They are also an incredible source of fiber.
This is a new twist on an old school product. Einkorn is one of the oldest forms of cultivated wheat. It has never really been used in mass production of pasta, but now that people are realizing it’s quality, they are searching it out. This stuff is loaded with 9 grams of protein per serving, and is rich is lutein and phytosterols. The lutein helps protect your eyes from UV rays, while the phytosterols have been shown to help lower cholesterol.
There are more choices out there to choose from. You may want to check out Spelt Pasta, which is known for having a nutty taste, or Soba Noodles, which are come to us compliments of Japan. Whatever you do, find something other than white pasta to fill up on. Other options are out there, you just need to find the one that works for you. When you straighten out your nutrition, you will see incredible gains in your athletic performance, along with your health. As always, when I talk about nutrition, I need to mention Shakeology. Whatever your fitness goal is, Shakeology can help you achieve it. CLICK HERE to learn more!