One of the common mistakes that runners usually make is that they neglect proper nutrition which is one of the most fundamental aspects of sports training. Eating properly is vital if your goal is to run better. With proper nutrition and diet plan, your body will continue to function at its best. So it is extremely important to consume right amount of right food keeping in mind appropriate timings for all your meals. Eating properly would not only enable you to get your body fit but you will be able to reap most benefits out of your running routine. Eat healthy natural foods and keeping your body hydrated is the key to good health. With a healthy body, you will be able to carry out your workout and running routine well.
Nutrition Tips for Runners:
When it comes to pre and post-running routine, eating right quantities at right time is important. As you look for advices for nutrition for runners, you will find plenty of advices that may confuse you. But here we are describing basic fueling needs of your body when you have a routine with regular running. It would not be wise to have chocolate bars for breakfast right before you have your running workout. Including various vegetables and fruits is wise decision for you to make as an athlete.
Here are some nutrients that your body needs every day in right quantity to get fuel needed for workout.
Carbohydrates are essential source of energy for athletes. Carbohydrates are converted in to glucose that gives you energy to keep hitting the track. While you are running, if you are finding it difficult to keep the pace and needs to slow down; it means that your body is running out of carbohydrates. Research of experts reveal that body of a runner needs around 60% of carbohydrates in diet so that your body is fueled to meet goals of your training.
Two forms of carbohydrates can be included in your diet:
- Simple Carbohydrates: These are basic sugar form that can be consumed from fruits, candies, chocolates etc. These sugary treats give you instant burst of energy however the effects would only be temporary. This is the reason why these treats should be limited as perks to enjoy less frequently.
- Complex Carbohydrates: These are complex and consistent sources of energy that gives you results over long run for a longer time frame. Most of the calories are gained from complex carbohydrates that includes food like potato, rice, bread, veggies, pasta, cereals etc. In order to meet requirements of your training schedule, you would need to maintain a proper intake of complex carbohydrates.
Protein is a vital nutrient that helps in building of muscles. Not only that but regular intake of proteins would recover your damaged muscles and would also result in hormonal balance. A runner’s diet should include around 20% of protein on regular basis. Food that is rich in this nutrient includes meats, nuts, beans, eggs etc.
Some of you may be surprised that we are talking about fats as an essential nutrient for runners. Yes, we are talking about healthy fats. Not all fats are good and healthy for your body. Although if the intake is only limited, then it may be fine for your body and health.
Three different forms of fats are:
- Saturated Fats: These can be easily found in dairy products and red meat. Body of an athlete only needs a limited amount of these fats such as 10% of your daily calorie intake.
- Poly-Unsaturated Fats: These fats can be an essential part of your diet as they are more towards the category of good fats. Some examples of these fats include margarine, butter, vegetable oils
- Mono-Unsaturated Fats: Most of the natural oils are fine example of these kind of good fats. Another common example is the use of olive oil. These fats are liquid and these liquids are good for a healthy heart. At the same time, while maintaining your health; these fats prove to offer you good nutrition for a runner’s body. Daily intake can be 20 to 25% of calories.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Including a number of fruits, vegetables and other natural foods is important if you really want to enjoy a well-balanced body and life. Your snacks should be healthy too such as a bowl of cucumbers and carrots, favorite fruit or anything healthy that you like. Include fresh juices rather than processed ones in your daily routine. Not only these fruit juices would ensure your proper intake of vitamins and minerals but would also keep you hydrated throughout the day. Although today athletes are found taking vitamin and minerals supplements but depending solely on these supplements is not wise. Rather include more of natural foods in your diet that contain these nutrients so that you can ensure proper balanced diet.
Keep your body hydrated. Water makes up most of your body mass and a human body needs large amount of water to ensure proper functioning of all the parts. Water is an essential nutrient for runners as throughout their running routine, they face water loss. Running enables your muscles to work and thus they produce a large amount of heat that needs to be released from your body. This heat is dissipated in the form of water loss so that your inner body temperature is maintained at a moderate level. If you don’t have proper intake of water, it could result in dehydration.
Thus it is extremely important for runners to keep their body hydrated irrespective of weather conditions. In winters, you may not feel thirst but your body still needs water. So keep an eye on your intake of water especially when running during cold weather so that you can prevent the risk of dehydration.
Body of a runner needs all the essential nutrients in right quantity and for that eating right is the key. Make sure your diet include as many natural foods as possible. Although, many people are found looking for supplements and pills to give them energy but it is best to maintain energy level and proper fueling of your body with a proper balanced diet plan.