Tara Gidus

Staying Cool in the Summer

It’s blistering hot here in Orlando and I’m sure it feels equally as hot where you are. I’m all about getting my sweat on, but after I get my run in staying cool is a priority. I try to stay ahead of the heat by running before the sun comes up, but it’s been tough to beat the heat lately. No matter how early I get out, the humidity and heat are on! 

As much as I wish it were fall already, I know these hot runs have a purpose in my training and they will make me a better runner when it begins to cool off.  And of course I turn to food to help me recover – I know, so sports nutritionist of me.

I cannot get enough frozen fruit, especially grapes from California this summer. They are delectable on their own and mixed with other fruits and greens in a smoothie, they are oh-so-refreshing.  Grapes of any color (red, green, or black) contain beneficial antioxidants that occur naturally in all grapes called polyphenols.  You’ve likely heard of the heart-healthy compound resveratrol, and possibly used it as an excuse to remove any guilt for drinking red wine, right?  Well, hate to burst your bubble, but resveratrol is found in the skins of grapes of all colors.  A serving of grapes (3/4 cup) has 90 calories, no fat, and no cholesterol. 

Many of you have requested nutrition information, so I’ve added it below. This recipe is bursting with potassium, an electrolyte lost through sweat, and it’s a great source of carbohydrates to restore glycogen in the muscle.

This smoothie would be amazing (and recovery-like) paired with a turkey sandwich or eggs and Canadian bacon to up the protein. Or guzzle it down pre-workout, since it is low fat it’s easier to digest right before a workout.

Beat the heat and get a dose of greens this summer with a green grape smoothie!

What do you eat to cool down after a hot run?

Grapes & Greens Smoothie
Serves 2

1 cup frozen grapes (red, green, or black)
1 frozen banana
¼ cup frozen pineapple
2 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale, stems removed
½ cup kefir
½ cup coconut water
½ to 1 cup ice

Place all ingredients, except ice into blender. Blend until greens are pureed; add ice to desired consistency.  Serve immediately.

Note:  If you’re not a fan of kefir, sub in milk or Greek yogurt.  If you sub with yogurt, you may need some extra coconut water if it’s too thick to blend properly.

NUTRITION (serving size: ½ recipe): 202 calories, 2g total fat, 31mg sodium, 837mg potassium, 52g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 35g sugar, 4g protein, 134% vitamin A, 97% vitamin C, 9% calcium, 8% iron

Questions or comments? Tweet me @DietDivaTara

Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.