Running is one of the great exercises for overall health and balance in general.
Running is one of the easiest cardio exercises for anyone of any age, and you can do it anywhere.
We can all run, but not everyone knows the nutrition when you run. If you are a normal jogger or a professional athlete, repeating knowledge about diet is always essential for you to perform.
The importance of having a proper diet is that if you work hard but do not have the right nutrition, no supplement, and the right time, your training will not be much. The implication is even detrimental to your health.
Few people care about the nutrition of runners, though it plays a vital role.
In this article, we will learn about the diet for runners, both pro and casual runners.
No matter what your training goals are, for competition, for strengthening, or for losing weight to stay in shape, eating will determine a significant part of your performance. Now BellyFatZone invites you to refer to this article together!
Nutritional advice for runners you should not ignore
Depending on the purpose of exercise and fitness, each person's nutritional supplementation will be a little different.
This article will be divided into 2 parts: Nutrition for regular runners and competitive runners.
Read more: How to Jog Properly to Lose Weight?
1. Eat less but often
Eating several small meals a day is a familiar method of people practicing.
It is the best way to maintain energy in the body, never letting the blood sugar drop too low.
Many studies suggest that this method is also very suitable for runners, provided you have to eat healthy things.
To eat many meals, you should practice the habit of preparing yourself nutritious snacks. Say no to chips, chocolates, sweets.
Instead, let's “use” foods rich in protein and good carbohydrates to best fuel the body.
Don't miss out on fruits, especially bananas, hazelnut butter, other nuts, and yogurt.
2. Don't skip meals
Healthy snacking is good, but don't neglect the importance of regular joggers' meals.
Besides rice, there are many other good carbohydrate-rich foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, corn, and beans that you can include in your main meal.
3. Nutrition ingredients in 1 runner a day
You can divide each meal properly with more or fewer quality groups, but make sure each meal is full of nutrients and total calories for the day are divided according to the following ratio:
- Starch: Account for 55-65%. Suggested foods: Fruits, whole-grain bread, noodles, vegetables …
- Unsaturated Fat: 20-35%. Suggested foods: Butter, olive oil, walnuts …
- Protein: 10-35%: Suggested foods: Beef tenderloin, chicken, tofu, nuts, milk, and related products …
If you're having trouble building a runner menu, read more about what to eat before and after your run to add these to your diet.
4. Drink plenty of water
Water is an important “nutrient” of the body, accounting for 50-60% of the body weight, and is involved in almost every process inside.
What you drink is not as important as what you drink at the right time and right. Some studies suggest that drinking cold water before and during a workout improves stamina.
Drink water evenly throughout the day. On days with training sessions, the amount of water consumed throughout the day must also be higher than normal.
- 1-2 hours before running, replenish about 250-500ml.
- After every 30 minutes to run again, should refill about 250ml.
- Don't forget to make up for lost water after running.
5. What water to drink?
- Water: Run 30 minutes or less
- Drinks supplement: Has a few calories, vitamins, and mineral salts; drink it instead when you are bored with water.
- Sports drinks: Compensate energy deficiency faster than filtered water, containing sodium, potassium, electrolytes, used in sessions longer than 30 minutes.
- Endurance Sports Drink: Increases electrolytes compared to regular sports drinks for runners, training sessions, or races for more than 2 hours.
- Energy drinks: Calories and caffeine supplements, used before and after running, are not recommended if you are trying to lose weight.
- Recovery drink: No carbs and protein, drink after a race or hard training session.
- Fruit juices, soft drinks: The amount of carbs is quite high and absorbed slowly, can be used in a snack or before a run, but you are on a diet to consider.
6. Plan a healthy jog and meal plan
– For morning runners (running time from 6:30 to 7:30)
- 6 am: Have a snack or drink 1 glass of juice
- 8:00 AM: After a run breakfast, 30% of the day's calories are loaded, protein and carbs are balanced
- 12 noon: Lunch
- 4 pm: Snack
- 8 pm: Dinner
– For midday runners (running time from 12 am to 1 pm)
- 7:00 am: Have to breakfast with good carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, fruit, whole-grain bread
- 10 am: Snacks about 200 calories with yogurt or an energy bar.
- 1:30 pm: Have a protein-rich lunch
- 5:00 pm: Snack
- 8 pm: Dinner
– For afternoon runners (running time from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- 7:00 am: Breakfast
- 11:00 pm: Lunch rich in good starch
- 3 pm: Snack
- 5:00 pm: Dinner before running
- 8:00 pm: Have a protein-rich dinner
Nutrition for runners
When you have a heavy training session or a run, you still follow the above principles of eating and note a few MORE things to get the best performance and stay healthy during the race.
Read more: Benefits Of Running in The Morning
1. Pay attention to the meal before the race
We all know the importance of eating before a run, but not everyone knows the best way to eat.
First, do not eat too much the night before because it will cause a heavy stomach, leading to difficulty sleeping. And, of course, you won't be in your best shape for the next morning run.
Second, don't think of the dinner last night as the last meal you loaded before entering the race.
Even at night when you are sleeping, your body is still draining energy. So make sure you have breakfast the next day.
Euro 5,000 and 10,000m European Champion Sonia O'Sullivan often choose bread, cereals, coffee, and bananas to sip at breakfast and drink plenty of water.
At this point, you should limit fats and proteins as they are difficult to digest. Also, do not drink coffee if you are not normally used to drinking it.
2. Learn how to drink water while running
Before entering a race, learn the route to see where the water stations are located and how far apart they are to plan drinking water accordingly.
Normally, the runner needs to get 60-120ml every 15-20 minutes. You should also bring yourself the right water types as mentioned above.
However, be sure to use those drinks in the past and not try a different food or drink on match day.
Drink in small sips, avoid choking on the water, distorting the paper cup's mouth, and drink slowly at the sharp end.
It would help if you also chose to buy energy gels for runners to replenish energy and restore muscle.
3. Eat to recover
After a race or a heavy training session, you definitely must not forget a meal to refill your “fuel.”
Post-workout meal is one of the most interesting topics in the Running diet.
At this point, you need to add protein and carbohydrates to restore your body's glycogen and repair muscle.
The four hours immediately after your workout is an important time to take in new glycogen to replace what you spent on your run.
4. Plan to eat and drink on the test day
For example, if your contest takes place at 11 am, please adjust the meal times accordingly if there is any change.
- 8 am: Breakfast
- 10 am: Have a snack before running
- 12h30: Have a light meal but have enough quality
- 2:00 pm: Lunch
- 5:00 pm: Snack
- 8 pm: Dinner
What To Eat Before Running Video:
Ready to Race: Nutrition for Every Runner Video:
Above are some nutritional tips for runners compiled from professional athletes and experts to help you more confidently complete your exercises and tracks.
And if you haven't started running yet? Read more about the amazing benefits of running to get more motivated.
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Hopefully, the information above has helped you gain some more knowledge about “meals for runners” and bring some small value. Please share this article if you feel it is useful. Thanks!