By: Angela Joy

After returning for a long, hard run one of my favorite foods to consume is a delicious and nutritious mango.

Mango with lobules on a white background

The sweet, juicy flavor and high water content fulfill my post run cravings, while also restoring my depleted carbohydrate and protein stores.

After doing a little research about my favorite fruit I discovered that the mango is a powerhouse full of vitamins and nutrition – along with spectacular flavor.

According to Medical News Today, the mango contains over 20 vitamins and minerals, is one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world and it has been found to decrease the risk of macular degeneration and colon cancer while improving digestion, bone health and growth of skin and hair.

Medical News Today found that within 100 calories of mango, the fruit offers: 

  • 1 gram of protein
  • .5 grams of fat
  • 25 grams of carbohydrates
  • 100 percent of daily vitamin C needs
  • 35 percent of daily vitamin A needs
  • 20 percent of daily Folate needs
  • 10 percent of daily vitamin B6 needs
  • 8 percent of daily vitamin K and potassium needs

The informative medical website further concluded that mangoes offer minerals such as copper, calcium and iron. They are also a great source of antioxidants, which fight off cancer.

Eating Mangoes After Exercising

After completing a run the most common fruit eaten is a banana– and for good reason. The banana is fantastic.

However, I like to change things up. I am also very thirsty after a run, therefore consuming foods with a high water content serves me well.

Some of the benefits to eating a mango specifically after a run or workout include the carbohydrates, amino acids, sodium and potassium available.

During exercise:

While undergoing exercise the body burns energy and releases sweat.

To create the energy burned, the cells must bind together protein, fat and carbohydrates.

To create sweat, the body needs sodium.

After exercise:

Once a workout or form of exercise is completed, the body must restore the utilized protein, carbohydrates, fats and sodium – that was burned.

What is amazing about the mango is that it offers protein, carbohydrates, fats and sodium (not large amounts of each, but it does however offer it).

The chart below was taken from the United Stated Department of Agriculture National Nutrient database, and listed on the nutrition-and-you.com website.

Nutrition Value per 100 g of Mango
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
*Energy 70 Kcal 3.5%
*Carbohydrates 17 g 13%
*Protein 0.5 g 1%
*Total Fat 0.27 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.80 g 4.5%
Vitamins
Folates 14 µg 3.5%
Niacin 0.584 mg 3.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.160 mg 1%
Pyridoxine (vit B-6) 0.134 mg 10%
Riboflavin 0.057 mg 4%
Thiamin 0.058 mg 5%
Vitamin C 27.7 mg 46%
Vitamin A 765 IU 25.5%
Vitamin E 1.12 mg 7.5%
Vitamin K 4.2 µg 3.5%
Electrolytes
*Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 156 mg 3%
Minerals
Calcium 10 mg 1%
Copper 0.110 mg 12%
Iron 0.13 mg 1.5%
Magnesium 9 mg 2%
Manganese 0.027 mg 1%
Zinc 0.04 mg 0%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-β 445 µg
Carotene-α 17 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β 11 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg
Lycopene 0 µg

 Infograph taken from: nutrition-and-you.com

(Stars were added to the graph to emphasize the areas in mangoes that are beneficial to athletes after a workout) 

Essential Amino Acids in Mangoes

Mangoes are also one of the few fruits that offers such a great amount of essential the amino acids (the building blocks of protein in the body’s cells).

According to Chem4kids.com, amino acids are used in every cell of your body. The amino acids build/create protein in each cell – which we use in order to function (especially when exercising).

There are over 50 amino acids in the body – however, only 20 of them are actually used to create proteins, Chem4kids.com further explains.

Of the 20 amino acids utilized to create protein, nine are “essential.”

The difference between essential and non-essential is that the body has the ability to synthesize 11 of the 20 amino acids.

The body cannot, however, create the remaining nine amino acids (Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine).

As a result, the nine were named the essential amino acids – because they body needs to consume them in order to create long chains of amino acids (protein).

Like the human body, plant foods also do not contain all nine amino acids. They do however offer different varieties of the nine.

The only “food” that humans can consume with all nine amino acids is foods derived from animals. Foods from an animal (meat, eggs, dairy) contain all nine because amino acids have been broken down and synthesized inside of the animal to create a complete protein.

Many people often argue that a diet without the consumption of animal products is unhealthy because of the lack of protein.

The truth however, is that the body has the ability to breakdown and synthesize all of the amino acids it has consumed throughout the day to form a complete protein.

The best way to understand this is, say I eat fruit for breakfast, peanut butter for a snack, pasta for lunch, and rice and beans for dinner – I never consumed animal products, although my body would have all nine essential amino acids.

The body takes the amino acids from each food consumed and combines them – creating a complete protein (all 20 amino acids).

After my run:

20150330_124508 (1)

I consume one whole mango (two if available).

I will first drink water, then cut up the mango into cubes and eat it.

Mangoes can be eaten, raw, in a smoothie, mashed, or even mixed into meals to add flavor.

My favorite is to consume the mango whole and enjoy each of the outrageous and rewarding flavors (they taste 10 times better after a long run). 

Depending on the length of my run and the amount of calories burned, I will also consume a protein smoothie and a piece of toast with peanut butter (to fully restore what my body burned during my run).

*Always make sure to fully hydrate after completing a long run or workout*

———>The best part about this post: Mangoes are NOW in season <———

Mangoes in season

So pick one up today and begin enjoying the tasty flavor and wonderful benefits.

Wishing lots of love, joy and blessings ❤

Best,

Angela Joy

Resources:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/mango-fruit.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275921.php

http://www.chem4kids.com/files/bio_aminoacid.html

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