What Should Be Part of The Runner's Diet?

by Craig

What should be part of the runner's diet?

I eat more after I have had a run... i.e. apples... toast, soup... possibly chocolate bar after dinner.... then an evening meal... that can vary from lamb dinner... fish and potatoes...?

Is this the right food to be eating? If not, what is best?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thank you for your question about running and your diet.

The best food... a loaded question...! The foods you mention sound fine, nothing particularly bad in there, set aside the chocolate bar which I guess you already knew, but I just don't know what the quantities are you are consuming.

You say you eat more after you have had a run, how much more? And how long do you run for, i.e. how much energy expenditure did you have and how much calorie intake?

Generally when you have been on a standard easy run (30-45 minutes) there should be no great need to eat a lot more than normally. The energy burnt does not justify eating loads of food. A few glasses of water should do it.

When you go on longer runs energy replenishment becomes more important. What is generally advised is to take in something that is high in protein, as protein helps repair muscles. This could be some yoghurt, a chicken sandwich, some nuts etc.

Protein is a very important building block of the runner's diet. People generally focus on carbohydrates when the traditional diet is already overloaded with carbs anyway. So I would advise to make sure you make some subtle changes to your diet in accordance with that, e.g. when you are eating fish and potatoes, then go easy on the potatoes (high in carbs) and add a nice salad to it.

And of course, make sure the quantities you eat during the day are in accordance with how many calories you want to take in during the day. This would be dependent on whether you just want your weight to stay stable or whether you have weight loss in mind.

Also check out Running for Weight Loss and my page about a Runner's Diet.

I hope this helps a little bit and goes towards answering your question.
Kind regards,

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