As a runner, your diet and what you eat are important not only for maintaining good health but also to promote peak performance while you’re on the road. Proper nutrition as well as hydration can make or break a workout or race. In addition, it can also affect how you feel, work, and think. Good nutrition for a runner is more than just loading up on carbs because your body also requires protein and fat.
Our bodies are complex machines. Running is a fantastic way to make sure that you keep yourself fit as well as healthy however there’s more to it than just putting your running shoes on. What you eat before and after a run can make a world of difference in your performance and well-being.
Nutrition throughout the entire day, weeks as well as months has an impact on all your workouts. Thinking about nutrition as an aspect of training will assist you with optimising all your runs and allowing your muscles to recover as well as adapt.
What To Eat Before A Run
When you start a run, you should be feeling neither starved nor stuffed. You don’t want to eat directly before running as this could lead to cramping or annoying side stitches. However, running on an empty stomach could cause you to run out of energy and then leave you feeling extremely fatigued during your time on the track.
Deciding what and when to eat prior to a run takes some time for each runner to figure out. If you are on the road for an hour or less, you typically don’t need to load up on carbs before you start running. Studies have found that, during moderate-intensity running which up to 90 minutes, no substantial quantities of glycogen are depleted from the working muscles.
Your day-to-day carb intake is individual and depends on your body type as well as activity level, however if you’re running to lose weight, remember that you don’t want to increase carbs just for the sake of believing that it will help your run.
Rather than worrying about loading up on carbs, focus on carbs which are easy digesting so they don’t sit in your stomach. Mixing blueberries, a banana, and Greek yogurt into a smoothie is a great pre-run meal that provides you sufficient amounts of carbs, protein, and fat while making sure that you keep your calorie count low.
What To Eat After A Run
Once you’ve logged the kilometres, have a bite within an hour in order to reap the most rewards. When you’re running, you’re breaking down – as well as stressing – your muscles the time. When you get stronger is during the period of recovery.
After your run, reach for a meal with a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 ratio of carbs to protein. This is dependent on the length as well as intensity of the run. If you ran for 60 minutes or less a 2-to-1 will do because carbs are more important as these replenish the glycogen stores (which is the go-to energy source) in your muscles.
Already know the power of drinking chocolate milk post-workout? Other choices with the correct ratio include:
- A berry and banana smoothie that is mixed in with a scoop of protein powder,
- A protein bar, or
- A cup of chocolate pea protein milk.
Keen to learn more about sports nutrition? If you do, then you should consider doing our Sports Nutrition Diploma. Follow this link to read more.