I’m gradually getting back in decent running shape. I’ve been training more consistently lately and have been steadily increasing the intensity of my workouts. This morning I did an 11 mile run with 6 miles at tempo, avg. 6:03 pace. Not great, but not bad and something I definitely wouldn’t have been able to handle a month ago. Part of the reason why I have been improving and staying healthy is the attention I have been paying to recovery, nutrition, and ancillary work pre-and post- workouts (for great examples of what I’m talking about, check out Coach Jay Johnson‘s videos). But, for the purpose of this post, I’m choosing to focus on the nutritional aspect with an excellent recovery snack, sugar snap peas and hummus. Why this snack? Because its delicious, I enjoy it, and its chalked full of goodness to help you recover. For starters, snap peas contain decent amounts of 8 vitamins, 7 minerals, dietary fiber, and protein. For instance, in one cup of snap peas, you would consume over 50% of your recommended daily value in vitamin K, over 8g of protein, over 25% in vitamin C, B1, dietary fiber, folate, and manganese, as well as over 12% in vitamin A, B2, B3, B6, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium. We know these things are important and good for us, but why and how come following endurance exercise? Vitamin K, for example, is important at helping to maintain bone health. In our bodies, vitamin K gets converted to K2, which activates osteocalcin (a non-collagen protein in bone) that anchors calcium molecules inside bone for adequate mineralization. Additionally, the B vitamins and folic acid help to block accumulation of homocysteine, a by-product that prevents bone collagen cross linkages leading to an inadequate bone matrix and can damage blood vessels leading to athersclerosis. Adequate iron intake is important for endurance athletes, as well, as it is essential for normal blood cell formation and function, to fight fatigue, and for normal immune system activity. So why the hummus with the sugar snap peas? Well again, its delicious and it adds an additional 19g of protein per serving (which helps to rebuild the muscle tissue that was broken down during the workout), and over 50% of your recommended daily folate, dietary fiber, and manganese (important for normal food digestion and bone formation) intakes. Also, it helps to replace some of the sodium (helping to maintain proper electrolyte balance) content lost from sweating, which the sugar snap peas don’t provide. As there are many post-workout snacks that would serve a similar role, this is the one I chose for myself following today’s workout. So I thought I would share its overall goodness to the masses. Enjoy!