Nutrition Guidelines for Runners: The diet recommendations for runners
are not that different than nutritional guidelines for non-runners.
Here's some basic advice on how runners can maintain a healthy diet.
As a runner, your diet is important not only for maintaining good health, but also topromote peak performance. Proper nutrition and hydration can make or break a workout or race, and also greatly affects how runners feel, work and think.
balanced diet for healthy runners should include these essentials:
carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some
basic guidelines for a nutritious, healthy balance:
As a runner, carbohydrates should make up about 60 - 65% of your total calorie intake. Without a doubt, carbs are the best source of energy for athletes.
is used for some energy and to repair tissue damaged during training.
In addition to being an essential nutrient, protein keeps you feeling
full longer, which helps if you're trying to lose weight. Protein
should make up about 15% - 20% of your daily intake. Runners,
especially those running long distances, should consume .5 to .75 grams
of protein per pound of body weight.
high fat diet can quickly pack on the pounds, so try to make sure that
no more than 20 - 25% of your total diet comes from fats. Stick to
foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Foods such as nuts, oils,
and cold-water fish provide essential fats called omega-3s, which are
vital for good health and can help prevent certain diseases.
don't get energy from vitamins, but they are still an important part of
their diet. Exercise may produce compounds called free radicals, which
can damage cells. Vitamins C, E, and A are antioxidants and can
neutralize free radicals. Getting your vitamins from whole foods is
preferable to supplementation;
Calcium: A calcium-rich diet is essential for runners to prevent osteoporosis and stress fractures.
need this nutrient to deliver oxygen to your cells. If you have an
iron-poor diet, you'll feel weak and fatigued, especially when you run.
Men should aim for 8 mg of iron a day, and women need 18 mg.
Sodium and other electrolytes: Small
amounts of sodium and other electrolytes are lost through sweat during
exercise. Try drinking a sports drink or eating some pretzels after
exercise. If you're running longer than 90 minutes, then you should
need to replace some of the electrolytes you're losing through sweat by
drinking sports drinks or taking in salt during your runs.