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Remember when people only drank juice for three to five days in the name of "cleansing" their bodies? Yes, that was stupid. Fortunately, the latest juice madness – where you simply add celery juice to your usual diet – is much more balanced. But what's going on and can it help you to perform at your peak?
First some background: celery juice recently exploded on Instagram, with celebrities and & # 39; influencers & # 39; of the health who placed photos of their (not so visually appealing) juice in the name of reducing inflammation and improving their overall health.
Some people even take a & # 39;celery juice challenge, & # 39; Where they drink our celery juice for at least a week 16 each morning.
It's not the worst idea – especially for athletes: "Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is important for both normal blood clotting and bone metabolism," says Taylor Wallace, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University. "It also contains reasonable amounts of potassium, a nutrient deficiency in the American diet that helps prevent muscle cramps in runners."
Wallace also says that celery has flavonoids that help increase blood flow (a potential benefit for endurance athletes) and protect the body against inflammation caused by exercise. "Inflammation is normal and healthy after exercise, but these antioxidants help your body recover faster from an inflammatory condition."
This all sounds great, but can a daily dose of celery juice help you in your next race? Probably not. Wallace says the levels of flavonoids are not high enough to perform miracles, and carbohydrate-rich foods and electrolytes are still your best choice when it comes to running fuel. (Note: Investigation is doing show that a form a vitamin K – vitamin K2 – increases endurance performance, but it is mainly found in animal products, not in celery.)
"It's always good to have carbohydrates for a run, especially if you want to maximize performance, but the amount of simple carbohydrates in celery juice is not enough to support you for a long period of time, or to fully restore you afterwards," Says Wallace. "A small carbohydrate-rich meal would be better."
And if you want to increase your intake of antioxidants and vitamin K – still a good idea if you go for an overall healthy diet – there are other (arguably tastier) ways to do this. "Blueberries, chocolate and most fruits and vegetables are good sources of flavonoids," Wallace says. "And you will find more vitamin K in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale."
So, although you can definitely drink celery juice if you like it (save the pulp for an extra dose of fiber), there's no reason to smother it in the name of a miracle: "It's not a magic pill," Wallace says. Where is that flavonoid-rich chocolate?