6 reasons cheese is great for runners

In our fat-fearing society, we all too often shun cheese, in the worry it will send our cholesterol levels into overdrive. And when we do indulge, we end up feeling guilty. But stop stressing! Cheese is actually GOOD for you. Here’s why…

6 reasons cheese is great for runners

Cheese is high in protein

Cheese is jam-packed with protein – in fact, one thick slice of the yellow stuff, such as cheddar, contains roughly 6.7g protein (similar to a glass of milk). The milk protein found in cheese is rich in essential amino acids and is easily digestible, making it the perfect post-run recovery snack, to help with muscle repair.

Cheese can help you sleep better

Forget the old wives’ tales about not eating cheese before bed in case of nightmares: eating cheese might actually help you get a better night’s sleep. It’s all thanks to a particular amino acid – tryptophan – found in cheese, which has a naturally calming effect and can help induce sleep. And as we all know, good-quality sleep is vital for runners, to help us rest and repair.

Cheese is heart healthy

Yes, it’s true! A recent meta-analysis of 29 previous studies has concluded that consuming full-fat cheese, milk and yoghurt does not increase your risk of a heart attack of stroke.

The report, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, states there is ‘no associations between total dairy, high- and low-fat dairy, milk and the health outcomes including all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.’

On top of this, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, full-fat cheese can increase your level of HDL (good) cholesterol, which actually helps to remove the harmful LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. It’s win win!

Cheese is good for bone health

With a high calcium content and also rich in B vitamins, cheese is a great go-to food source to boost your bone health, helping to ward off osteoporosis.

Cheese contains salt

While its sodium and potassium content means some restraint should be exercised when it comes to cheese, so you don’t eat too much, eating some cheese after exercise could help us runners, by replacing minerals lost through sweat.

Cheese helps prevent tooth decay

Yes, cheese is good for your teeth, too (who knew?). Researchers at the US Academy of General Dentistry discovered that eating cheddar raised the pH level of the mouth, helping to protect against cavities. And we all know, sparkling teeth make for a great race-day photo... say cheese!