Ideal diet for runners

ideal diet for runners

Maintaining a good diet is essential for runners, as are foods that give us enough energy to run. In addition, good nutrition allows runners recover energy, oxidation and muscular wearing during sports. However, there are many recommendations that do not have in mind the needs of each runner at all times. So Teyder, experts in orthopaedics and sports medicine, offers some guidelines that can vary each runner.

Recommended foods for runners

In fact, the diet of the runner follows the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet, which is applicable to all types of runners and helps to prevent injuries. Teyder recommends:

  • Dried fruit (dates, walnuts, almonds) that strengthen the muscles of the runner to be rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables take two or three times a day helps prevent oxidative stress in the cells of our body, the antioxidants in these foods prevent excessive wear on our body, and we provide vitamins and minerals needed for run. It is important to ensure that foods are seasonal and that each serving of fruits and vegetables has different types of fruit and vegetables in order to eat 5 different fruits and 5 different vegetables.
  • Banana is one of the most recommended fruits for runners because of potassium for muscle recovery and prevention of cramps. It also provides quick energy to replenish spent glycogen in the running.
  • Omega-3 (oily fish, walnuts, flax…): helps to protect the heart of runner, a muscle that sometimes is put in limit, and control inflammation.
  • Carbohydrates (algae, whole as pasta and rice) protect the intestinal mucosa of the runners to limit inflammation and immune reduction occurs when the sport is practiced at high intensity.
  • Other foods: jelly and eggs (to protect the joints of the runner and mobility); sesame and cabbage (calcium); oily fish, legumes, nuts and seeds (phosphorus); pure cocoa (magnesium) and oats (silicon).
  • Honey as a replacement for sweet: provides energy to run, potassium and phosphorus.

As we have seen in Teyder, oily fish is one of the most recommended to runner to protect joints and obtaining Omega-3, but oily fish is also very suitable to lose weight while still eating protein for muscles, to avoid runner inflammation and for the fluid retention. For this reason, it is recommended to eat at least 5 fish dishes a week.

Foods that runners should avoid

  • Sausages
  • Bread and biscuits
  • Butter and cream
  • Sauces
  • Ice Cream
  • Fried
  • Sweets
  • Alcohol

When and how should I eat?

For runners is very important to have a varied, complete and balanced diet, with breakfast, lunch, snacks (mid-morning and mid-afternoon) and dinner. Teyder advises:

  • Breakfast: bread with tomato, olive oil and ham or cheese, yogurt, a fruit salad with some nuts, muesli…
  • First snack: yogurt or fruit.
  • Food: salads, vegetables, oily fish, meat (chicken or turkey), whole wheat pasta, rice, vegetables… It is important to combine different ingredients and vary each day to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Second snack: nuts, fruit, bread with cheese, yogurt or muesli.
  • Dinner: blue fish, vegetables, soup, yoghurt, salad, fruit salad… A light but promote optimal nutrient dinner break.
  • Hydration

Hydration is a very important part of the diet, and more in sports. Therefore, runners should drink more water than usual because during running we become dehydrated more easily (1L per hour of running). When should I drink water? Before, during and after running, runners should take approximately 1L of water or a drink with sodium, thus the runners can prevent flatulence and dehydration.

Can I eat before running?

For the proper functioning of our body during running, it is important to eat carbohydrates easy to digest (wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, rice, banana …) between one or two hours before running. These foods provide us with glucose energy to run, but runners should not eat them too much because these foods can turn them into fat.  Also the runner should avoid supplement this food with fat or sugar. If the runner decides to go running after eating, you have to wait about three hours and eat a snack after training.

What to eat after running?

  • For runners, it highlights the importance of drinking water or some sports drinks and eating fruit.
  • One serving of easily digestible protein to rebuild muscle fibers of the runners.

Teyder, experts in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for runners.