The rainy season is on its way. It may make you feel uneasy as you cannot go for a run as often as you wish. So what can we do to keep the muscle mass we’ve built up? Shiseido Running Club registered dietitian, Emi Kawano is here to introduce the foods that help retain the muscle mass and a simple yet balanced recipe.
Emi Kawano: Shiseido Running Club registered dietitian. Did track and field until high school and competed at the Inter-Prefectural Women’s Ekiden.
A Balanced Diet of Various Foods
Focus on High-Quality Protein!
So, what kinds of foods does Ms. Kawano recommend to maintain the muscle mass at this time of the year? “I would recommend high-protein foods such as a fillet steak, round steak (skinless for chicken), chicken breast, chicken tenderloins, red meat tuna, skipjack tuna, salmon, horse mackerel, eggs, milk and dairy products, and soy products, etc. Protein is essential for retaining the muscle mass and that means if you don’t take enough proteins, you’ll lose the muscle mass. Moreover, these foods contain the right proportion of essential amino acids, which our body cannot manufacture and we must consume with food. They are also low in fat, which is critical in periods of reduced activity. If we move less, we naturally consume less energy, and if you eat too much greasy foods then, you will end up increasing fat mass instead of muscle mass,” said Ms. Kawano. “If you are having a balanced diet, you don’t need to worry about your protein intake, but if you are not, like trying to lose weight or being stuck in a bad eating rut, you need to be careful. Plus, we should be aware that there is a difference in nutritional value between different cuts of meat, and dairy products such as fresh cream and cheese can be fat-rich,” Ms. Kawano added.
Increase the Effect by Taking Proteins
Together With Vitamins B6 and C
There are nutrients that help retain the muscle mass if taken together with protein. Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C are two of the kind. “Vitamin B6 helps the body metabolize proteins. The foods rich in vitamin B6 are tuna, skipjack tuna, salmon, horse mackerel, liver, chicken tenderloins, chicken breast, paprika, sweet green pepper, bananas, brown rice, etc. Vitamin B6 is heat-stable so you can cook them with heat. And vitamin C is, as you know, abundant in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C helps the body produce and replenish collagen, which is the main structural protein. The foods rich in vitamin C are paprika, broccoli, rape blossoms, cauliflower, bitter gourd, potato, lemon, kiwifruit and strawberry, etc. I would recommend taking them with meat or fish.” (Ms. Kawano)
However, the important thing is balance, said Ms. Kawano. “Taking proteins is more effective and efficient if you combine various foods. In order to keep the muscle mass, eat a balanced diet with various dishes of staple food, main dish and side dish, taking high-quality proteins together with foods high in vitamin B complex, carbohydrate, and fat,” she advised.
Refreshing Taste Boosts the Appetite!
A Recipe to Keep Muscle
Here is a recipe recommended by Ms. Kawano, a perfect combination of healthy ingredients that help keep the muscle; “Marinated Salmon with Soybeans and Vegetables”. “Thanks to vinegar, it tastes refreshing and also prevents food poisoning, which is critical especially in a rainy season. This can be stockpiled so it works perfect as a meal prep recipe.”
【Marinated Salmon with Soybeans and Vegetables】
●Ingredients (two servings)
2 salmon fillets, slightly salted
1/4 red paprika and 1/4 yellow paprika
1/3 small carrot
1/3 pack boiled soybeans (approx. 35 g)
a dash of black pepper
cornstarch for coating
1 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp broth or water
a pinch of salt
juice from 1/2 lemon or 1 tbsp lemon juice
①Slice the onion and paprika finely and shred the carrot and cucumber.
②Mix the ingredients in A well to make the marinade.
③Cut the salmon fillets into bite-size pieces and sprinkle with a dash of black pepper.
④Coat the salmon with cornstarch, and fry it with olive oil in a frying pan.
⑤Mix the vegetables in 1 and boiled soybeans. Place the cooked salmon on top of the mixed soybeans and vegetables, and pour the marinade.
*Tip: Pour the marinade while the fillets are still hot and soak them in it, allowing them to absorb the flavor quicker.
⑥Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to soak the flavor and serve!
You can also cook the salmon in a microwave instead of frying in a pan.
Place the salmon fillets in a heat-resistant container with a sprinkle of cooking wine (a teaspoonful) and cover them with food wrap, then put in a microwave for four minutes at 500w.
Ms. Kawano also suggested swapping the salmon with other fish or chicken tenderloins.
So, how does it sound? This recipe is very easy yet promises a healthy balanced diet with all the ingredients easily found in a supermarket! Go for a healthy diet to keep the muscle mass before blaming it on the rainy season!
（Photo By Thinkstock / Getty Images）
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