A healthy eating plan will help you achieve your objectives and boost your running, whether you're trying to break a personal record, training for your first half marathon, or simply raising your activity level to lose weight or enhance wellbeing.
In an exclusive interaction with OnlyMyHealth, Liam Agnew, a Myprotein expert, explains the essentials one should consider and focus particularly on the ideal pre- and post-run eating approach.
Why is nutrition important for runners?
The body is fuelled by nutrition, which also aids in recovery after activity. The calorie and macronutrient requirement are a crucial component of a nutrition strategy of a runner. Running will greatly increase the amount of energy you use each day, therefore you must balance your energy intake to your goals.
The source of these calories is also vital to take into account, and for the majority of runners, carbs should make up the bulk of their diet. For runners, carbohydrate recommendations range from 4 to 10 g/kg/d. Depending on your goal and training regimen, this will change, but as a general rule, individuals looking to maximise performance should aim at the upper end of this. A lower carbohydrate intake will be more suitable for people who are jogging with the goal of fat loss.
What to eat before a run?
The best method to maximise the benefits of each and every run is to time your diet around your training, in addition to the daily calorie and macronutrient requirement necessary to enhance running performance.
The viability of a certain dietary plan will also be significantly impacted by the time you decide to run. For instance, a run in the late afternoon should be done roughly 1-2 hours after a meal, whereas a run in the early morning may be best done fasted or after a light lunch. Chicken sandwich, toast with jam, cereal with milk, and chicken sandwich are a few examples.
Low glycogen availability during a run will result in more fat being used as fuel during exercise if you're trying to lose weight.
What to eat after a run?
To assist your muscles recuperate and get ready for your next session, it's crucial to replenish the fuel you consumed during your run. High glycemic carbs, which have been demonstrated to recover glycogen the quickest, are the ideal foods for this. Pasta, rice, white potatoes, and cereal are a few examples of high glycemic carbs. Protein is just as crucial as carbohydrates. Combining protein with inadequate amounts of carbohydrates may speed up glycogen replenishment in addition to helping muscles repair themselves.
Rehydrating after a run to replenish water lost through perspiration is also encouraged. This can be accomplished with water, an energy drink, a recovery shake made of protein and carbohydrates, or milk, which has also been demonstrated to effectively rehydrate the body after exercise.
In conclusion, your runs will perform better and recover faster if you follow a healthy diet plan. If you want to run faster, a high-carb diet is optimal; if you want to lose weight, you should reduce your carbohydrate intake.
Depending on your training objective, intensity level, planned run length, and timing, the optimum pre-run meals and snacks will vary. It's crucial to eat carbohydrates, protein, and properly hydrate after a run for optimum recovery.