Let’s break some bad eating habits and let’s start to eat like a pro athlete. What’s the secret to a great diet that will keep you healthy and looking shredded? Obviously these athletes need to get their hard training done every single day. They need to fuel their bodies properly to perform 100%. Let’s eat like a pro: these are my 4 secrets for a great nutrition for runners.
Never skip your breakfast
It’s not a rumor — it’s absolutely true that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It prepares you for the daily craziness in our stressful lives. People who skip breakfast tend to eat more during the day. I always have my oatmeal with berries and a scoop of protein in the morning. It fills me up until lunch without any sugar cravings.
Eat Small, frequent Meals
A very important tip for a good nutrition for runners? Skipping meals is contra productive. Runners should fuel often and eat every four hours. By keeping a regular meal schedule, athletes can prevent fatigue and reduce injury risk.
During competition, the most rapid use of fuel, regardless of intensity, occurs during the first 20 to 30 minutes. With a proper nutrition as a runner you’re preventing glycogen depletion. You also enhance your immune function, reduce muscle damage and speed muscle recovery. So, even if you’re not the breakfast person, go for it. Don’t save up all your calories for one meal at night.
It doesn’t matter, if you’re just running for fun or actually competing in races: Hydration is the key because you will perform better. The right nutrition for runners is important for great results. Fluid requirements vary from person to person, so the best way to stay adequately hydrated is to stick to a schedule.
Most of us only require approximately 11 to 15 cups of water daily. Choose to drink filtered water, so that many of the dangerous contaminants have been removed.
Oh my diet!
I’ve heard so much about low carb diets and how good its working for so many people. To me it’s helpful to steam approximately 60 percent of my diet from “good” carbs with a mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and small amounts of low fat, organic dairy. 30 percent (sometimes more depending on the season I’m in) comes from lean protein such as fish, poultry, lean meats, beans and low fat, organic dairy.
Another 10 percent of a runners diet should come through quality fats, like olive and canola oils, nuts and nut butters, seeds and avocados. But this can vary. If you’re training for a marathon you’re going to eat a lot more and have a higher carb intake than if you’re training for a 5K, or not racing at all. A great source for more nutrition tips is this article from Runner’s World Magazine.
Sabrina Wieser is a running expert based in New York City and the founder of Runningbrina - She is a USATF Level 3 and IAAF Level 5 Endurance Certified Coach and experienced marathon runner. She completed over 35 long-distance races and helped over 200 clients to cross their personal finish line. Her expertise in enhancing running performance through training and nutrition has been recognized by many within the running community and different media outlets such as Huffington Post, the Dr Oz Show and adidas running.