The fashion for running is getting bigger and bigger, and so is the desire to be fit. There is nothing unusual about this, as people’s awareness of physical activity and healthy eating continues to grow. So it doesn’t matter if you run 10 or 100 km a week, if you’re a vegetarian or a meat-eater – you have to eat like a runner! What products should you bet on?
When you start training, your body, together with your shoes, becomes a real bionic machine, which, apart from movement, also needs the right fuel to improve its form and make you feel better. Following the rules below, we will have a guarantee that our diet will always contain the necessary ingredients for the functioning of the body and will allow to raise the form, thanks to which we will be able to achieve even better results. What is important, the runner’s meals should be loaded with valuable microelements and characterized by easy assimilability by the body. So what can’t be missing in your diet?
Fruits and vegetables are above all a rich source of vitamins and minerals, which are particularly important for a runner. The most important thing is to bet on colorful products, because the pigments they contain act as antioxidants. In addition, they help alleviate inflammation caused by microtrauma to the muscles. Research suggests that natural plant pigments and the vitamins they contain react with other compounds to activate their beneficial effects. Runners, whether short-distance, long- or medium-distance, should eat seven to as many as nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Does a runner need more carbohydrates than the average person? Definitely yes! And certainly before a long run or a marathon. Experts in nutrition of active people and athletes recommend that up to 65 percent of calories in one meal should come from carbohydrates. On the day before the start, you should bet on easily digestible “carbs”, which contain a small amount of fiber. Whole grain carbs, on the other hand, should be taken daily. Whole grains are much more important than white flour and processed foods because they contain the very valuable vitamin B.
Eliminating fats from your diet is the worst thing a runner can do. Why? Contrary to popular belief that they are deposited in the form of excessive body fat, they are a great dose of energy and essential fuel for performing workouts. A runner’s diet should include mainly monounsaturated fats, which protect the heart and support anti-inflammatory processes. However, runners should avoid fats derived from margarine, poor chocolates and pastries. Current research also shows that saturated fats can have a beneficial effect on a physically active person’s form development. However, nutritionists recommend not exceeding a maximum intake of 16 g of saturated fat for a diet of 2000 kcal.
Protein is the basic building block of muscle in the human body, including the runner. This macronutrient can be compared to the tendons from which strong and powerful muscles are built. Following this comparison, each workout leads to the formation of micro-damages, which are replenished with these very bricks. According to research by scientists, runners who supply their bodies with adequate amounts of protein are less prone to various types of injuries and trauma. In addition, proteins help to keep the immune system in top readiness, as white blood cells are stimulated. Therefore, runners should have much more protein in their diet than the average couch potato. The main foods that should be on the menu are beef, poultry and marine fish.
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