For runners, proper nutrition is related directly to a good run. Whether you’re lacing up for a marathon or trying to lose extra pounds, there is a little possibility of achieving your full potential during sprints without putting healthy food on your plate.
You cannot expect to accomplish improved time and distance goals by gulping down a single glass of pre-run protein shake—if you’re going to feed yourself meals deprived of essential vitamins and nutrients for the rest of your day. A wholesome diet is important as it can help in preventing fatigue, increase your endurance, and optimize your performance.
We have curated this guide for the best foods for runners, which will help you increase your capacities and efficiency. You can also find more information on proper nutrition and supplements on ourfitness.life.
Essential Food Sources for Runners
No matter the goal you’re trying to achieve with running, consume the below nutrients and food sources to improve your speed, performance, and endurance as you take on the terrains!
Carbohydrates work as fuel for your body. When you run, you lose a lot of energy. Therefore, if you consume foods rich in carbohydrates, your body breaks them down and converts them into glucose to help you move forward. You can always have a banana, oats, or fruits to pump your body with the much-needed energy you gain from the carbohydrates in them. They are one reason why your sports-drink fills you with the required energy, as it has carbohydrates in the form of sugar.
The dietary fat you receive from your meals and the fat stored in your body can help you get through exercises that require high-endurance. Fat is not your enemy. You will only end up improving your efficiency during training by consuming healthy fats from foods. If you have a habit of going for morning runs, try to have fat-rich meals for lunch.
Protein does not provide you energy but helps you build and rebuild muscles. Most people start running to shape their bodies, or at least to maintain them. Protein can help you build-back all the muscles that you break when you run, giving you a toned look. It would help if you consumed protein both before and after your runs.
Fruits & Vegetables
Having your daily dose of carbohydrates or fats from fruits and vegetables can help you also lap up the numerous vitamins and minerals present in them. Fruits and vegetables also come packed with many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help you repair and recover faster after every run. Try not to consume raw vegetables, as it can put your G.I. Tract in distress.
Best Foods for Runners
Reduce instances of injuries and increase your performance progressively by following a balanced diet. We have listed down some foods, including fruits, vegetables, and meat, that will not only help you during your runs but also benefit you in post-run recovery. Whether you’re a man or a woman, adding these delicious foods into your diet can offer you a massive amount of nutrients and vitamins that will have a tremendous effect on your training.
Running can help people in a variety of ways, and people do it for multiple reasons. So, you can pick your nutrition based on the goal you’re trying to achieve with running. Here are some of our best options!
There’s a popular trick that people often use during high-endurance training sessions—they peel two bananas and chomp them down. The energy you receive from consuming two bananas can last you up to two hours of workouts. We can support this claim with the fact that bananas are high in carbohydrates and offer a massive chunk of potassium. Eating a banana before your running session can protect you against depleting your energy and exhausting yourself. It will also help you compensate for all the minerals you lose in your sweat while running, like Magnesium, Chloride, and Sodium.
Plain Green Yogurt
You wouldn’t have guessed that a dollop of plain greek yogurt could offer you numerous benefits—but it does. This creamy goodness is brimming with gut-supportive and body-boosting nutrients that can be an excellent supplement for post-run recovery. It strikes a balance between carbohydrates and proteins, along with a high percentage of amino acids that your body cannot synthesize. Consuming greek yogurt every day can help you replenish your system, and shield you against falling ill often.
Oatmeal is excellent for your body, and we know you’ve heard this a gazillion times before. But there are many benefits you can achieve from oats, that are also proven and supported by science. Similar to bananas, oats offer you plenty of carbohydrates, 90 grams per cup to be precise. If you’re a morning runner, you can eat oats for breakfast to increase overall performance and efficiency during the workout. Due to their low glycemic index, they will keep your blood sugar from spiking, allowing you to retain energy and feel full for a long time.
Peanut butter is one snack that is not only tasty but also comes with the goodness of protein, carbs, and vital vitamins that keep your body in excellent shape. We are talking about peanut butter that doesn’t have a variety of unhealthy additives like salt, oil, or sugar. Use unsweetened peanut butter to get your daily dose of vitamin E, one of the best antioxidants for runners. They do contain a lot of fat, which makes them undesirable due to all the added calories. However, these are mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids that are considered beneficial in lowering your cholesterol levels. You can also grow and repair muscles faster with peanut butter!
Who doesn’t like coffee? But did you know that the beverage that bribes you out of bed for your routine runs every day, can also make you faster and better? Many studies show that caffeine is a hero when it comes to high-intensity interval training. However, avoid drinking your coffee with milk and sugar, and instead switch to black coffee. You can experience the aroma and benefits of purely grounded coffee beans without consuming extra calories. Coffee can also improve your cognitive functions, which can come off as an upper hand during sprints.