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The best foods for runners


Within any sport, diet is one of the elements that most influences the training process . We are what we eat, and we also exercise how we eat. That is why properly knowing how food can influence is so essential for an athlete. We want to talk about food for runners , since this is one of the most fashionable activities and it is important that it is done in the right way.

What to eat before running

Pre-training is essential for any athlete. It works in a similar way to gasoline for an engine in that it determines the work that the body is going to do. While running, accumulated carbohydrates and fats are burned to produce the energy necessary to maintain muscle activity. It must be understood that running is a cardiovascular exercise of resistance and that, therefore, what is sought is to have sufficient energy reserves to be able to maintain a good level in the race.

Any runner must manage three basic macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats . The former are the ones that most directly offer energy reserves for the body. They have an important caloric intake that helps to maintain the rhythm in any exercise or sport. Proteins, on the other hand, usually provide energy, since they are accompanied by iron, although what they do is directly feed the muscles.

These, with use and effort, can break or wear out many of the thousands of fibers that compose them , giving rise to shoelaces the next day. What proteins do is generate muscle mass and repair those kinds of small breaks that occur. And fats would have two essential functions. On the one hand, they provide energy reserves for the body and, on the other, they act in favor of a healthier heart, especially omega-3 type fats. It is important to point this out here, because running is an intense exercise for the heart .

Now once we know this, one thing can be taken for granted. The proteins will be an element essential before going to run, and to produce immediate energy that the body will need to perform this activity. Hydrates can be found in bread, legumes, pasta, and flour or rice. Those foods will be the ones that have to be consumed an hour and a half before going for a run. Fats are not absorbed at the same speed, which means that, even if they are consumed before, they will not offer reserves at that time.

What to eat after running

Another of the most important meals of the day for a runner. Here the main thing is to recover and keep the body in good condition . Therefore, it would be necessary to eat two meals after training. A light one almost immediately after, and a somewhat heavier one four hours later.

The light has to have some protein presence, but these can be reserved for the next meal. Now, the important thing is to replenish the body reserves that have been expended, so that fatigue can be avoided for the rest of the day. Therefore, it will be necessary to replace natural carbohydrates and fats . The latter can be found in nuts, avocado and fish. For this case, a food like walnuts can have excellent results.

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The next meal, something stronger, is of greater importance . Here, once the basic and superficial energies have been restored, it is important to properly repair the muscles and that the body, therefore, has enough material to recompose itself as soon as possible and be able to be used again to run again. Therefore, proteins have to play an essential role .

What foods contain protein? Mainly, meat and fish. Poultry meats would be the healthiest, and within turkey or chicken, the latter usually has a higher amount of protein, so it will be more recommended, although it can always be varied. Red meats also have proteins, but they can be somewhat more harmful and have more unsaturated fats . Fish are especially healthy, like oily fish, and have a good content of omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, this is an interesting option. Finally, in the event that fats are to be ingested through other foods, you can always opt for shellfish, which is highly concentrated in protein and has hardly any fat.

Protein-rich foods are key after a workout.

You cannot always abuse animal proteins, and the ideal is to maintain a balance between animal and vegetable . Therefore, legumes are another excellent option for two reasons: a high concentration of protein, a high amount of carbohydrates and few bad fats. So combining them with some meat or eating beans on their own can be a great post-workout meal.

Some basic tips that every runner has to take into account would be the following:

  • Meals must be planned . To have an excellent physical performance, you have to have a good diet, as it repairs and prepares the body for the next stage. Therefore, the variety and the measures of what is eaten are essential for the diet to work in favor of the athlete.
  • You should never train on an empty stomach, as reserves are being collected from the body that are not ready to be used, which can lead to low blood sugar or any other eating disorder.
  • Finally, you have to bet on variety , and include fruit and vegetables to cover the micronutrients. Although these do not provide anything immediate, they are responsible for the body to function properly.

In conclusion , knowing the foods for runners is crucial when it comes to being able to maintain a good level of training. Otherwise, the body will suffer a lot and will not be able to have the same capacities as those who do take care of their diet.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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