What foods every runner should include in his or her diet for optimal performance.
Every bite of food you take increases the amount of calories you have at your disposal. While it’s important for everyone to have the appropriate amount of calories on hand to get through the day, runners have a particular need for the right kind of calories. Because while you can get away with eating most anything if you’re working a desk job, running 30 miles at a time puts certain demands on your body that food can help you meet.
What should you eat if you’re an avid runner? Start out with these foods.
They’re small, they taste great, and they do a runner’s body good. If you plan on doing some serious running, be sure to pack plenty of these nuts, and you’ll avoid feeling hungry during your run and reduce your muscle aches afterward.
Though many folks stay away from anything that includes carbohydrates, runners should run to this carb-heavy fruit. It’ll give you a quick fill of energy that will last throughout your run and help your blood pressure stay level, despite the pressure you put on it with your run.
Practically every berry out there has potassium and vitamin C. Why are these important? Because they help your body repair itself after a demanding run. Since your body is better able to heal, you have less post-running pain to deal with and reduced risk for serious injury while running.
Like berries, eggs help your muscles recover after a particularly grueling run. On top of that, they’ll strengthen your bones, improve your vision for those night-time runs, and help your memory stay strong so you can keep track of your progress with greater ease.
You may enjoy iceberg lettuce or a spinach salad, but if you’re going to spend a lot of time running, you should look into more variety. By regularly eating salads that consist of various greens, you give your body access to a wide variety of plant-based chemicals that keep your muscles from becoming damaged by a long and hard workout.
If you’re looking for a food that will stick with you for the long haul, nothing beats oatmeal. Full of slow-burning carbohydrates, oatmeal is the go-to food for many serious runners. As an added perk, you can toss in some skim milk, raisins, and other dried fruits to boost the flavor and texture without reducing oatmeal’s powers.
In addition to helping you avoid the cold and flu, the vitamin C found in an orange will also help you be a better runner. It does this by lend a hand to your muscles recovery after a run and helping your body absorb more iron, which is essential for preventing fatigue.
Peanut Butter Bagel
Enjoy this right before hitting the road for a little added stamina to make it through your run. Not only will this snack help you have a solid energy level at the beginning of your run, but also it’ll make sure you maintain a high level of can-do-it all the way to the finish line.
Want your muscles to function at their peak at all times? Then you’re going to need plenty of potassium, iron, manganese, vitamin C, and copper. Thankfully, you can get them all in abundance in one of your favorite holiday foods: sweet potatoes!
Only want one tip for eating better as a runner? Make it this: You can’t go wrong with whole grains. From breads to pastas, whole-grain foods have plenty of fiber to fill you up and keep you full. They also have metabolism-boosting vitamin B and many have omega-3 fats and protein to assist in the healing and recovery of damaged muscles.
Keep Seeing Well
If you have good vision, you should never take it for granted. To ensure the long-term good health of your eyes, eat the right foods and take the following additional steps:
- stop smoking
- exercise regularly
- wear sunglasses when outside
- keep away from excessively dry, hot environments
- take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen
- use safety glasses when working in the yard or with dangerous tools