Blogger Highlight: The Foodie Runner’s Nutrition Plan For Runners
You’ve heard it a million times as a runner—the food you put in your body is like the fuel you put in a race car, and if you want that car (or body) to perform well, you have to fill it with the highest quality fuel. However, in today’s world—where diet and nutrition advice are everywhere—it can be hard to decipher what the best way to fuel really is. Today, I’m sharing what I think are the most important guidelines for runner’s nutrition, as well as a sample of what one of my weeks of running and eating actually looks like. And my favorite smoothie recipe at the end!
Nutrition Tips For Runners
Eat More Whole Foods
Eating whole foods is one of the best things that you can do for your body—whether or not you’re a runner. Whole foods are packed with nutrients that will help your body recover from all of your training and fuel your future workouts. Not sure what makes up a whole food? My biggest tip is to stick to the perimeter of your grocery store when shopping. The whole foods are typically around the edges of the store.
Make Sure To Eat Within 30-60 Minutes After A Workout
After a run or a workout, it is important to eat something within 30-45 minutes. This replenishes your glycogen stores and jumpstarts the recovery process in your muscles. Shoot for a snack that is about 150-200 calories and has a 2:1 ratio of carbs:protein. One of the best recovery snacks is a glass of chocolate milk – who wouldn’t want their exercise drink to be chocolate milk?
Your Body Needs Carbs To Fuel Your Training
Gluten free and low-carb diets are all the rage right now, but carbohydrates are essential for runners! Your body uses your glycogen stores to power your running, so don’t be shy about eating carbs if you are a long-distance runner. Of course, the less processed and refined the majority of the carbs in your diet, the better.
If Your Schedule Allows For It, Eat Before Your Run/Workout
Some runners have to head out the door for their morning run as soon as they are up in the morning, but if your schedule allows for it, it’s always better to get something in your body before exercising. If you currently run on an empty stomach, try adding something small and light before your runs (like half a banana), and work up until you find what works for you.
Keep Quick/Healthy Options In Your House
When you are hungry and in a rush, you are more likely to grab the fastest/easiest thing to eat rather than the healthiest. If you keep quick and healthy snack options like granola bars, grapes, apples, string cheese, almonds, etc available in your house, you will eventually start to turn to those as options for a quick snack.
Don’t Shy Away From Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are an important part of a runner’s diet, and you should aim to get about 20% of your daily caloric intake from healthy fats. Fats help your body absorb nutrients, help increase your feelings of satiety after a snack or meal, and help protect you against injuries. Great sources of healthy fats are avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, fish, eggs, nuts/seeds and nut/seed butter, and full-fat dairy (like whole milk).
Indulge A Little Along The Way
No one can eat 100% amazing all the time! If you build in a few indulgences throughout your week, you are more likely to stick to a healthy diet the rest of the time. For me, my favorite ways to indulge are through things like ice cream as a dessert 1 or 2 times a week, and going out to dinner with my family on the weekends for something yummy like a cheeseburger or pizza.
One Week Of My Training And Eating
|Workout||8 miles- easy||8 miles- workout -2 mile- warm-up-4 mile- tempo-2 mile- cool down||7 miles- easy||8.5 miles- workout -2 mile- warm-up-6x 800m- repeats w/ 400m jogging rest-2 mile- cool down||8 miles-easy||15 mile- long run||REST DAY|
|Pre-Run||-Slice of Toast w/ butter and jelly -Cup of coffee||-Banana w/ PB -Cup of coffee||-Slice of Toast w/ butter and jelly -Cup of coffee||-Slice of Toast w/ butter and jelly -Cup of coffee||-Banana w/ PB -Cup of coffee||-2 slices of Toast w/ butter and jelly -Cup of coffee||N/A|
|Breakfast||Bowl of oatmeal w/ banana, maple syrup, and walnuts||2 slices of whole wheat toast with avocado, 2 over easy eggs, and queso fresco cheese||Strawberry-Peach Smoothie* *See recipe below||2 eggs scrambled with veggies (bell peppers, onions, tomato, spinach)||Bowl of Oatmeal w/ banana, maple syrup, and walnuts||-3 eggs scrambled -1 sweet potato, diced and sautéed in a pan of olive oil. ½ avocado||-Banana chocolate chip pancakes w/ maple syrup -Bacon-Cup of coffee|
|Lunch||-Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and avocado -Greek yogurt-Apple||-Leftover pasta and broccoli from the night before||-Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and avocado -Greek yogurt-Apple||-Chicken burrito bowl (Brown rice, beans, grilled veggies, chicken, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and cheese)||-Leftover chili -Piece of cornbread-Apple||-Leftover pesto pasta, chicken, and green beans from the night before||-Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and avocado -Greek yogurt-Apple|
|Snack||-2 pieces of string cheese -Handful of baby carrots||-Handful of almonds -Apple||-2 pieces of string cheese -Apple||-Beef jerky -Apple||-Handful of almonds -Apple||-Fruit smoothie w/ protein||Iced coffee and handful of almonds|
|Dinner||-Pasta w/ marinara sauce -Side of broccoli||-Grilled chicken -Brown rice-Brussels sprouts||-Chicken sausage roasted with peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, and regular potatoes||-Bowl of chili (made with ground beef) topped with cheese -Homemade corn bread||-Pasta with pesto sauce -Grilled chicken-Green beans||Dinner Out -Cheeseburger-Fries and onion rings-Lemonade||-Grilled salmon -Quinoa-Broccoli|
|Snack||-Handful of almonds||-Bowl of cereal and milk||-Handful of almonds||-Banana w/ PB||-Bowl of cereal and milk||-Bowl of ice cream||X|
Strawberry Peach Smoothie
½ cup 2% plain greek yogurt
½ cup frozen raspberries
½ cup frozen peaches
1 scoop collagen protein powder (such as Vital Proteins)
½ tsp honey (optional)
1 cup coconut water (give or take, depending on how smooth you like your smoothies)
Place all ingredients in a blender.
Blend until combined.
Author: The Foodie Runner
DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. ProForm assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.