Four Days to Fit?

Seems implausible but a new study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that eating a Mediterranean diet improved athletes’ endurance performance in just four days: Runners ran a 5K on two separate occasions — once after four days of eating a Mediterranean diet and, a few weeks later, once after four days of eating a Western diet. The result: Run times were on average 6 percent faster after the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet includes things like whole fruits and veggies, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, limited red meat/processed foods, limited dairy and refined sugars, and it has long been heralded for its myriad of health benefits. A Western diet, on the other hand, contains more red meat and dairy, is higher in saturated fats and processed food, and includes fewer vegetables and fruits.

Researchers speculate that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the Mediterranean diet as well as its alkalizing properties likely led to improved athletic performance. Give it a whirl before your next race — you could post a personal record!