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Running in hot temperatures can be challenging for maintaining stamina and difficult even with water, for our overall health. 

Dressing for the conditions, running in shade and staying hydrated, along with sunscreen, sunglasses and running cap will all help get you from point A to point B; But what about after the run, when you start to resemble an overheating engine? 

There are foods that can provide enough moisture to keep your virtual needle below the red line without filling you up and undoing all the hard work you just put in.    

To keep safe from overheating, the best times to run are early morning or in the evening. 

If you don’t have time to prepare food, experiment with sports drinks and energy gels, keeping in mind the energy they derive can take 40 to 60 minutes to kick in.  

If you run only at lunch, which can be as hot as the day will become, have a mid-morning snack and pack a lunch with cooling foods for afterward at your desk. 

Always eat fruit, such as honeydew, oranges or grapes. Read on for more cool food tips.

For your evening run, eat well during the day to prevent sluggishness; Make lunch the main meal of your day, and eat healthy morning and afternoon snacks. T

ry not to exercise, especially swimming, before 90 minutes after a full meal, to avoid cramping.

Vancouver nutritionist, Sandra Millward, who works with Olympians and other high performance athletes, took a break from her daily grind to email your agent her favourite cooling foods for beating the heat.

To say that Millward warmed instantly to the subject of cooling foods, was, well, let’s hear it from her: “These are easy, yummy and nutritious tips to keep you cool, lean, skin clear, and the immune system revved up!”

  1. APPLES and APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: apple cider vinegar with apples what?!

Refrigerated, cool, fresh pink lady apples sprinkled with apple cider vinegar. Not only tastes great but it will ‘tart’ up your apples with added benefits. Include cinnamon too if you are so inclined to keep really cool and your blood sugar stabilized.

As a nutritionist, I often recommend apple cider vinegar to lower gastric upset and build hydrochloric acid in the gut. (HCL is needed to break down protein).

In this combination, it also preserves your apples from going brown and adds a tart flavour to keep you quenched. If you have any leftovers you can cut them smaller and throw in your salad. The crunch is divine!

RECIPE: Slice the apples into segments, add about 1 tbsp of AC vinegar-to taste, stir together in a bowl and eat that crispy deliciousness up!

  1. MINT: I love mint, it grows wild in my community garden and it looks so beautiful!

In the heat of the summer, or if I travel with the National team to hot climates, I like it as a subtle pop in salads, salad dressings, water jugs, running bottles and, of course cold or hot tea. 

Add mint to your food this summer to aid digestion and stimulate those enzymes which help absorb your nutrients better to speed up your metabolism so you show off that summer swim suit.

I also use mint essential oils in baking as well as topically to keep cool. Put a drop or two of peppermint on the bottom of your feet to keep cool and those tootsies fresh smelling. 

For a healthy party dessert, I use mint essential oil for Nanaimo bars adding in Collagen, and Matcha tea. Recipe coming this fall to

  1. WATERMELON:  Consists of 90% water so dehydration doesn’t stand a chance if you are drinking your water as well as eating your water. Check out my tips here if you need to know more tips about water.

Watermelon makes you feel full; again, think of your new bikini.

This delicious melon offers a host of summer important nutrients such as antioxidants, Vita C -which helps with free radical damage from the extra sun you may be getting, Vita A- to repair skin cells and, Citrulline-an amino acid in watermelon may reduce muscle soreness if you are running. PLUS, it tastes divine. 

Watermelon dripping down the sides of your mouth is one of the greatest memories of childhood summertime fun!

Fitness Friday is submitted each Friday by Christine Blanchette and you can follow her on Twitter or her Youtube Channel.

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