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Training for a marathon or triathlon? Or just aiming to take your workouts or steps to the next level? Whatever your performance goals, Wegmans Food Markets can help, with foods and supplements that support active lifestyles and knowledgeable people ready to answer questions about products that might help put those “personal bests” within reach.
People today are on the move. Nearly 17 million people crossed a competitive foot race finish line in 2016, according to Running USA – over three times the number of those finishing in 1990.
“Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle, even if you’re not training for a big race,” says Wegmans Nutritionist Krystal Register MS, RDN, LDN. “Many customers want to maximize fitness and performance and want to learn more about foods and products that offer a nutritional boost.”
Wegmans employees often lead active lives, from those who aim to reach 10,000 steps a day on their activity tracker to those who train for marathons or triathlons. Register herself has a regular workout routine and uses her background in nutrition to help other physically active people improve performance and recovery.
“My advice to people who aren’t doing high-intensity or extreme sports is pretty simple: Eat real food, especially fruits and vegetables, include protein with meals and snacks, and stay hydrated. In most situations, plain water is all you need to replenish. If folks are exercising for over an hour and need quick replenishment, some like the natural carbohydrate and electrolytes in coconut water. Others like Wegmans ‘MVP’ sports drink for quick replenishment without any artificial colors or flavors. But it’s a good idea to limit the drinks with added sugar.”
Getting some protein with all your meals and snacks is one easy way to improve performance and feel your best, she says. “Most of us get enough total protein by the end of the day, but it’s better to distribute it across the day – aim for 20 to 30 grams per meal, and get the protein from different sources, like beans, legumes, whole grains, seafood, and dairy – as well as from poultry, lean meat or eggs.” Spreading out the protein this way helps the body use it to repair tissue and build muscle, and helps you feel fuller longer.
Many customers have turned to “Superfoods” to improve their performance or speed up recovery after a workout. Nature’s Marketplace Category Merchant Ann Johnston has seen an increase in demand for “Superfoods” - foods viewed by consumers as having extraordinary health benefits. Recently, beets and tart cherries have been getting attention from those looking for an extra edge in performance.
“Beets are one of the hot ‘superfoods’ right now,” Johnston notes. They naturally contain potassium, betaine (a colorful antioxidant), magnesium, folate, vitamin C and nitrates, making beets a “heart healthy” food that can help normalize blood pressure and enhance blood flow for better performance and cognitive function. “Love Beets” in powder form can be added to a smoothie or other drink for a nutritional boost. Other “Love Beets” products are found in the produce department, such as cooked organic beets and several flavored varieties.
Nutrients in tart cherries are thought to help with faster muscle recovery, increased stamina, and better sleep. Wegmans carries several sizes of Cheribundi juice, which packs about 40 to 50 tart cherries in an 8-ounce drink.
“There’s a place for the nutrition supplements our stores carry and for snacks like Wegmans ‘Wholesum’ bars, because we all face times when our best-laid plans don’t work out and we have to improvise,” says Register. “But the right place to start improving performance and recovery is with balanced meals and smart hydration every day,” she says.
Need more ideas about building healthy meals and snacks from real food? Every issue of Wegmans’ Menu magazine features seasonal suggestions for making balanced meals that offer great nutrition with sensible calorie counts. Or, you can visit the “Feel Your Best with Balanced Meals” area at wegmans.com.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 94-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 20 consecutive years, ranking #2 in 2017.
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