Runners and food; why the food you eat is important to your health according to the Wall Street Journal
Many runners do not give too much thought into the quality of the food they eat, especially since they burn so many calories. Apparently, what you eat can affect your heart health even with all that exercise. It is not unusual for a cardiac event to occur during a marathon, although many marathons such as the NY Marathon have extraordinary safety levels. The problem is, they can supply triage however, they cannot predict the health of the people who are running.
For most runners, they may not know they have a problem until they have a heart attack. They may also have heart disease caused by exercise once a certain level of exercise has been exceeded. Research continues on trying to understand this dynamic.
One of the big causations of a running related heart attack may be inflammation which is a common marker for cardiac events in the body. Many nutritional companies talk about inflammatory foods and the idea of a low inflammatory food diet. You can look up these types of diets on the internet.
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Why Runners Can’t Eat Whatever They Want
Studies Show There Are Heart Risks to Devil-May-Care Diets—No Matter How Much You Run
As a 10-mile-a-day runner, Dave McGillivray thought he could eat whatever he wanted without worrying about his heart. “I figured if the furnace was hot enough, it would burn everything,” said McGillivray, who is 59.
But a diagnosis six months ago of coronary artery disease shocked McGillivray, a finisher of 130 marathons and several Ironman-distance triathlons. Suddenly he regretted including a chocolate-chip-cookie recipe in his memoir about endurance athletics.
“My first reaction was, I was embarrassed,” he said.
As race director of the Boston Marathon, McGillivray is a high-profile exhibit in a growing medical case against the devil-may-care diets of many marathoners. Their high-mileage habit tends to lower their weight, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, leading them (and sometimes their doctors) to assume their cardiac health is robust regardless of diet.
“‘I will run it off’—that attitude clearly prevails among the marathoners themselves, almost sometimes to an arrogance,” said Paul Thompson, a veteran marathoner who is chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital.
A growing body of research shows the error of that thinking. A study published in the current edition of Missouri Medicine found that 50 men who had run at least one marathon a year for 25 years had higher levels of coronary-artery plaque than a control group of sedentary men. A British Medical Journal study published this year compared the carotid arteries of 42 Boston Marathon qualifiers with their much-less active spouses. “We hypothesized that the runners would have a more favourable atherosclerotic risk profile,” says the article. As it turned out, that hypothesis was wrong.
A small body of research suggests that heart problems may arise not in spite of extreme-endurance exercise but because of it. That has led some cardiologists to theorize that, beyond a certain point, exercise stops preventing and starts causing heart disease.
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