5 Sneaky Places Sugar Hides

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A little sugar can be a good thing, especially when it comes to a little energy boost for runners. Although I like to get my sugar boost from honey (aka Honeystinger). Too much of anything, of course, is never good.

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I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 sneaky places sugar gets out of hand.

Protein Bars
Who doesn’t love a nice chocolate covered protein bar that promises to help you start recovery off the right way? They sure taste good after a run, amiright or amiright? Sometimes those protein bars are just glorified candy bars. There’s debate on how much protein we need, and how much we can use at one time, but you can read this article for a little more information on that, if you want.

What should you look for in a protein bar?

  • Ingredients you can pronounce
  • Roughly 140 – 200 calories (higher and it’s more of a meal replacement)
  • Around 10 gm of protein
  • Around 7 gm of sugar (hopefully from real sources like honey)
  • Around 4 gm saturated fat
  • A ration of 3 or 4 to 1 protein to carbs

The above is a very rough guide. It depends on so many factors! It isn’t easy to find protein bars that are satisfying, not a gazillion calories or packed with way too much sugar. Just be a smart consumer and read labels.

Yogurt
Yogurt will always have sugar in it because of lactose, the sugar in milk. Plain or vanilla flavors typically have less sugar then other flavors or yogurt with added fruit. Women should have roughly 25 gm of sugar a day; (no, I don’t count sugar gms). There are flavored yogurts out there that have almost that much sugar in them!

Salad Dressing
Love your honey mustard dressing? Me too! A little sugar in your salad dressing isn’t going to kill you. Some dressings can way overboard on the sugar, though — because it’s addictive. Most of the time it isn’t even real sugar. Just read labels and choose wisely (around 2 gm per serving or lower).

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Bread
Store bought bread is another sneaky spot sugar hides. It can easily be 3 gm or more per slice. Have a sandwich and you’re actually getting more than a teaspoon of sugar with that sandwich. Hey, the more you know!

Pasta Sauce
Tomato sauce is healthy, right? It definitely can be, but it’s another place that sugar can sneak into. Sure tomato sauce is very acidic and a little sugar helps ease that acidity.

Final Thoughts
Manufacturers spend a lot of time finding out what will get you eating their products — and what will keep you coming back for more. Restaurants, too. Usually it comes down to adding too much sugar and fat. We’re just hard wired to love sweet and fatty things.

It’s never about just one thing that you eat. Think about a day’s worth of eats: have some yogurt for breakfast (or a snack), a sandwich for lunch, a protein bar after a run, spaghetti and salad for dinner — and you could easily overdose on sugar despite having what looks like a pretty healthy day of eating.

I want my sugar in cookies or ice cream, not in the “healthy” foods I eat all the time.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or medical professional.

Do you ever read labels?

Were you aware of how much sugar was in some of these foods we think are healthy?

Any great protein bars with real ingredients that you love?

6 Ways to Keep Your Cool on the Run

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Sometimes a cooling towel makes or breaks a run

Do you really struggle with running when the heat is on?  Sometimes only a cooling towel (or hat, gaiter, skirt) is the only thing that stands between you and melting on the run. I am definitely #teamcoolingtowel. In fact, just the other day I was looking for mine . . . but that’s a tale for next month’s Runfessions. In the dog days of Summer I often sport one while running.

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Now there are cooling towels, cooling gaiters, even cooling headbands!

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 cooling towels that might just make that next hot and humid run a little easier.

1: Chill Pal Gaiter
I am definitely intrigued by this one — there may be a review in the future! I have a couple of cooling towels, and one problem is they get on your clothes (wet tshirt anyone?) and you don’t really need that! You can buy this here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

2: Mission Multi Cool
Another gaiter! How did I not know these existed? One reviewer claimed it lasted for 2 hours in CO. Mine never seem to last that long. It would be “cool” if it did! You can buy them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

3: Alfamo Cooling Towels
People gave these cooling towels 2 thumbs way up. One even said her dog loved it. Hmm, Bandit is very heat intolerant — maybe he’d like one? You can buy them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

4: Ergodyne Chill-Its Cooling Headband
Headbands are not my thing — well, not during running, anyway. I want my face and eyes protected as much as possible! I know many that don’t like hats or visors that do run with headbands. How cute is the stars and stripes pattern? Sorry it’s too late for this year, but maybe next!

Reviews on most of the cooling headbands, including this one, weren’t very favorable (as in they do not cool you for more than a few minutes), and they’re on the pricier side. So do your due diligence. You can buy them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

5: Syourself Cooling Towel
The reviews on this one say it stays cool for hours, and it comes in a variety of colors at a relatively low price. You can by them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

6: Mission Women’s Hydroactive Max Laser-Cut Performance Hat
That’s a mouthful! The reviews on this was mixed. Some people said any hat you wet would do as a good a job, others felt it really helped. I think I need to look for a cooling visor next, that’s what I like to wear in the Summer! You can by them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

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I got this towel as swag. It does help, but needs to be “hydrated” sometimes

Final Thoughts
I have done a lot of very hot races with my cooling towels. I’ve also done some very hot races without them — and wished I’d brought them. They do help me. Skirt Sports’ Cool It line was made of the same sort of cooling material as most cooling towels, and they became my hot race uniform!

Most cooling towels are relatively inexpensive, but read the reviews: some towels do not live up to their marketing hype.

Have you ever tried a cooling gaiter?

Do you have a cooling towel you love?

What running gear would you like to see in a cooling material?

5 Workouts to Ditch the Running Boredom!

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Do you get bored with the same routes, the same distances, the same paces? You can mix it up without working to hard. I’ve got five running “workouts” you can play with the next time your find yourself in a running rut.

Disclaimer: I am not a running coach. These are just fun little workouts I use sometimes to get out of a running rut.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 easy but useful running workouts to keep in your toolbox.

1: Pick Ups
Every runner is different, but I find I often run at a non challenging pace by default. A lot of runners have trouble running slower, but if you’re more like me and slow is your jam, just literally pick up the pace during a run. For however long you feel like. Usually I’m like that really didn’t feel so hard, why was I running so slowly?

2: Run hard for short distances
Mile repeats? I’ve done them but I don’t like them, gotta be honest. Tempo runs? Not surprisingly I’m not a fan of tempos either! Those longer intervals work. If you’re just looking to have a little fun running faster for a just a bit, go short: 200 meters just might be your sweet spot.

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3: Alternate hard miles
The opposite of #2, this is a strategy I use in longer races and runs sometimes. It’s the longer intervals but with a break in between. Pick up the pace for a mile, then ease off the next — repeat as necessary.

4: Run faster on the downhills
I know some people are afraid of opening up the throttle on a downhill, but running downhill fast has always felt exhilarating to me. Probably why I love downhill races!

5: Add in a little PT
Start off with a little agility — grapevine, anyone? Run a while. Do sideways squats. Run some more. Do some skipping. Run some more. You get the idea. Do some high knees, some butt kicks, some toy soldiers. It would be a great way to get in those drills we know we should do, but then never do. I have to admit I would probably feel too self conscious to do this outdoors — but I have done some variations of this when I’m on the mill indoors.

Final Thoughts
Running can seem monotonous sometimes, but it really doesn’t have to be.

What fun running workouts do you do?

Short of long intervals?

Do you ever do running drills?