You Can Boost Your Endurance Within Days Using Mediterranean Diet, Study Shows

You Can Boost Your Endurance Within Days Using Mediterranean Diet, Study Shows

New research has found that you can improve your 5k time by 6% by switching from a Western diet to a Mediterranean diet.

The populations who live close to the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Europe are some of the most long-lived in the world.

In recent years, lots of people in the health and wellbeing space have encouraged people to start eating like them to live a better lifestyle.

Studies have found that the diet can decrease your likelihood of getting cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's.

The diet is essentially built around whole foods. You eat lots of fruit and veg, nuts, legumes, lean meat and olive oil while avoiding refined sugars and processed foods.

A Western diet is typically described as having a low amount of fruit and vegetables, but heavy in saturated fats, refined sugars and processed oils.

Researchers from Saint Louis University in the US predicted that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of the Mediterranean diet, along with the more alkaline pH and dietary nitrates, might lead to improved exercise performance.

To test this, they took seven women and four men and got them to run 5km on a treadmill, once after four days on a Mediterranean diet and once after four days on a Western Diet.

Despite similar heart rates and perceived exertion, the participants were able to run 6% faster after the Mediterranean diet compared to the Western diet.

A senior researcher at the head of the study, Edward Weiss, said: "Many individual nutrients in the Mediterranean diet improve exercise performance immediately or within a few days. Therefore, it makes sense that a whole dietary pattern that includes these nutrients is also quick to improve performance.

"However, these benefits were also quickly lost when switching to the Western diet, highlighting the importance of long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

"This study provides evidence that a diet that is known to be good for health is also good for exercise performance.

"Like the general population, athletes and other exercise enthusiasts commonly eat unhealthy diets. Now they have an additional incentive to eat healthy.”