Top Ten Foods for Runners
Bananas are an amazingly sweet snack that can provide the perfect pre run nutrition. These naturally high sugar high carb snacks are perfect for giving you an energy boost and providing the body with a fast releasing source of fuel. During running we all know that salts and electrolytes can be lost through sweating- however, bananas contain high levels of potassium making them a great snack for balancing electrolytes that may even prevent those painful muscle cramps.
2. Sweet Potatoes
These orange beauties are packed full of simple and complex carbohydrates, making them a top food for runners. Their bright colour originates from their high content of beta carotene, which in addition the large levels of potassium, means sweet potatoes can help promote muscle recovery. Other minerals found in sweet potatoes such as manganese can also help aid muscle function preventing injury.
3. Nuts and Nut Butters
Nut butters are a great way to get healthy fats into your diet that can be enjoyed on toast, rice cakes or even spread on fruits and vegetables! Nuts are have a high energy density and are high in mono and poly unsaturated fats making them a great addition to your running regime. What’s more nuts are packed full of vitamins and minerals, find out more about the benefits of nuts here.
4. Dairy and Yoghurt
When running many people tend to forget the level of stress exerted on the body and the importance of bone health. Yogurt is a great source of calcium and muscle building protein. High doses of calcium are important for exercises involving high intensity and levels of impact, which can act to prevent stress fractures. What’s more, consuming low fat dairy has also been shown to increase fat loss!
Eggs are a great source of protein for runners! With around 75 calories per egg you can get a good source of essential amino acids which can help fuel your muscle during a run and aid muscle recovery!
When it comes to running salmon is a great high protein food to start consuming. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which are not only goo for general health but have also been shown to lower the risk of cardio vascular disease and risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Being high protein means consuming salmon up to 3 times a week can also help aid the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass allowing you to be stronger during your runs.
Quinoa is a great vegan source of complex energy releasing carbohydrates and protein! This healthy food contains a comprehensive amino acid profile that the body needs to build proteins and repair worked muscles. Another food that is an amazing source of all three carbohydrates, protein and antioxidants is the black beans. Carbohydrates can help restore depleted glycogen stores provide you with a slow releasing source of energy, while protein and anti oxidants can aid muscle recover post run!
8. Dried Fruit
Apart from being a great source of vitamins and minerals dried fruit is a great source of fast releasing sugars that are perfect before a run! Maximise your blood sugar levels with dried cranberries, blueberries or my favourite- dried mango!
Avocados are bursting full of vitamin E and mono unsaturated fats! Consuming avocados with crackers a few hours before a run is perfect for an energy boost.
10. Porridge/ Oatmeal
Last but definitely not least is porridge! Porridge oats are an amazing source of complex carbohydrates and fibre! The soluble fibre found in porridge oats, also known as beta glucan can help lower LDL cholesterol, blood pressure a blood sugar levels! What’s more porridge oats are filling and can help aid digestion. Try enjoying a bowl of porridge 2 hours before a run!