Nutrition: Best Food and Drinks for Runners. Let’s give nutrition an important spot in our lives.
Let’s face it, if you decide to start running, you are probably doing it because you want to stay fit and healthy for years to come. Running is a great exercise for the whole body, but it is not enough if you don’t include other factors as well, and the most important factors are food and drinks. Let’s see what should you eat and drink in general, and what you should eat and drink while running.
First of all, it is important to develop a healthy eating habit. You should eat at least five meals per day, and it is better to eat smaller meals than one or two big meals. Food should be diverse. There is no need to cut out any food type, but don’t overdrive with the fats, red meat, sugar, fast food and similar products. Eat white meat and fish, fruits and vegetables. When you drink, avoid carbonated juices and juices with added sugar. Water, low-fat milk, and natural juices are a good choice for you if you want to develop a healthy eating habit. Of course, if you suffer from some food related diseases like diabetes, you must follow the diet instructions from your doctor and use prescribed medicines.
When it comes to the running and food and drinks, there are some extra rules you should follow besides those we mentioned before. Running will boost your metabolism and help your body spend more calories, so you can eat more without effects on your line. However, it doesn’t mean you have a carte blanche to eat as much as you want to. You still have to be careful not to overdrive.
Avoid eating before running. Everyone has a personal level of discomfort, so there is no one-size-fits-all rule. However, you should wait for at least two hours after a major meal and at least 30 minutes after a small snack before you go running. In general, if you feel discomfort while running, next time avoid food for a longer time.
If you run first thing in the morning, you should eat something before that. When you go on a run an hour or more after you wake up, you can intake oatmeal, toast, muffin or something similar. If you go to a run straight from the bed, eat some fast releasing energy food such as fresh or dried fruits. Anyway, don’t go running with an empty stomach.
If we talk about specific foods that are good for runners, try with almonds or nuts in general. Eggs are also a good choice since one egg has about 10% of the daily protein needs. Low-fat yogurt can be a good small meal. Whole grain cereals and bread are a great choice for a breakfast while sweet potatoes or canned beans may be a good side dish. Fish, especially salmon is a perfect choice for a lunch. Eat some green salad because it has many benefits. Oranges and other citrus fruits are rich with vitamins, low in calories and very tasty. If you want more healthy and tasty sweets, there are wild berries to add to your menu. And finally, small amounts of the dark chocolate are recommended.
Hydration is important for all people, but it is essential for the runners. Believe it or not, a tea or a coffee about 45 minutes to one hour before the running session is very good for the body since it contains energy boost caffeine and antioxidants. Natural juices are healthy and nutritious, but probably the best choice for a drink during the run is water or some sports drink. Sports drinks are especially good choice, since they contain electrolytes you will lose during the running through the sweating process and if your running session is one hour or longer, you should definitely use them.
To sum up, be careful with your eating habits. The fact that you are running is not giving you permission to eat whatever you want and in any quantity. Try to develop a healthy eating habit which will benefit your health and nutrition in general. Eat before running, but don’t go running straight from the meal. And finally, make sure you drink enough. It is important in any case, but it becomes essential if you are a long runner.