The basics of running nutrition
(For information on the specific nutrition products we carry, click here)
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As a runner, your body needs quick energy that will last through the workout and keep you going all day. You also need proper fuel to recharge your body and rebuild the muscles that you worked and broke down during your training.
Here is a basic run-down on the important components of proper nutrition for runners:
- Carbs: Give you quick and long lasting energy. Approximately 60-65% of your diet should be made up of carbohydrate rich foods, such as whole grain bread and pasta, cereal, potatoes, fruits and starchy vegetables.
- Protein: Repairs tissue that was damaged from training (sore muscles). Protein gives a long lasting feeling of fullness. Find protein in low fat sources such as lean meat, fish, beans and low fat dairy.
- Fat: Small amounts of low saturated fat provide essential Omega-3s which help overall health and prevent disease. Find these healthier fats in nuts, oils and cold water fish.
- Vitamins: C, E & A are antioxidants that can prevent cell damage from free radicals found in the body. Best consumed in foods like beans, berries and apples, rather than taken as a supplement.
- Calcium: Needed for strong bones, reduces risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures caused by the repetitive motion of running. Dairy and soy products, as well as broccoli, dried figs, oranges, salmon and oatmeal all have large amounts of calcium
- Iron: Necessary for the delivery of oxygen to the entire body. A diet low in iron will likely result in low energy, fatigue and overall weakness. Foods rich in Iron include lean meats, dark green veggies, apricots, plums and beans.
Note that iron and calcium consumed at the same time will prevent the absorption of either one. Make sure to separate a calcium rich snack or meal from an iron rich snack or meal!
Ideas for pre-run fuel (allow 45 minutes or more to digest before heading out to run):
Example Meals and Snacks for a day:
- Piece of whole wheat toast with peanut or almond butter
- Granola bar
- Small serving of oatmeal
- Breakfast: 1 cup of low fat yogurt with berries and handful of granola on top. Glass of orange juice.
- Morning snack: Handful of almonds
- Lunch: Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lots of veggies. Piece of fruit and glass of water
- Afternoon snack: Celery with peanut or almond butter
- Dinner: Salmon, potatoes, and a spinach salad
Products for endurance, energy, and recovery
We carry a full array of products to help hydrate and energize you throughout your workout, and recover afterwards. Check out our endurance and recovery nutrition page.