The Best Food To Eat Before Running, After Running, And Foods To Help Increase Energy Levels While On Your Run
Many people overlook the running diet. They figure that they can keep the same diet that they have despite their running habits. Well, this thinking is wrong in all respects. As I described in the article “The Runners Diet”, which can be found here, I said that there is a different between a regular diet and a runners diet.
There are some foods that you need more than others. You also need to focus more on certain food groups more than others, especially carbohydrates and protein.
The more you run, the more your body will crave certain foods. You will need every nutrient rich food you can get. If you disregard and ignore what your body is telling you, it could result in fatigue, injury, running plateaus, and in some serious prolonged cases; disease.
I wouldn’t want any of those things and I speculate you don’t want those things to happen to you either.
So that is why I want to show you the foods that you need to eat to become a successful runner, without running into problems. I will be showing you the foods that you should eat before you run, after you run, and which foods you can eat to increase your energy while you run, so you can run longer. But if you want a better-defined running meal program check out the article I mentioned above or check out my running program; Effortless Runner.
Best Food To Eat Before Running
Just a word of advice: Eat these foods at least an hour or two before you run! Anything you eat not in that timeframe could result in a bad run or affect you after you run.
You can combine these foods I am about to show you, but, I warn you, some of them combine better than others.
Bananas will give you the energy you need as you run. In fact, bananas are probably the best energy food for running. The potassium in bananas will
replace what your sweat takes out of your body. This will in return, give you energy during long runs or walks. If you aren’t eating bananas with anything else I would suggest you eat two bananas, especially if you are going for a run longer than two miles.
If you are afraid that you might get sick from eating two, then just eat one and then eat one of the foods from below. You could even blend bananas with skim milk and crushed ice to make a shake.
Any kind of nut will do, well, almost every nut. Most nuts like peanuts, almonds, cashews, and walnuts, contain protein and oil that will fuel you with enough energy to last you for a long time. As the carbs in your body break down while you run, the protein will give you energy, which, without them could lead to exhaustion. Other nuts include Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, pine nuts, and cedar nuts.
The carbs in oatmeal will keep you energized, while keeping you from feeling hungry while on your run. I personally like the instant kind because it takes less than five minutes to make. But you can always use the regular kind. You could put milk in, but I suggest only putting a little in if you are going to run after you eat it. You can also top it with nuts or fruit.
If you don’t want to eat oatmeal for some reason, then try oat bran. It’s a much healthier alternative to oatmeal with more carbs. Don’t get scared by eating too many carbohydrates before a run. More carbs equals more energy while your running. And oats are the good kind of carbs. There’s simple and complex carbohydrates. To get a better understanding between the different kinds of carbohydrates check out this article I wrote.
Beans like, black beans and soybeans are packed with protein that your body needs during your run. The beans will spike your blood sugar, which is where the energy is formed. No only do beans help with running, but as a result of all these benefits, they help you lose weight.
Beans are also great as a side dish combined with another food. They are also a great source of fiber, which will help you digest other foods better and won’t interrupt your running. Some other beans that are good are navy beans, lima beans, lima beans, chickpeas, green beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, and mung beans.
The Best Food To Eat After Running
After you run you should definitely eat something to replace all the things you depleted from your body. If you can replace the nutrients in a timely order then you will get the best benefits from your run. If you don’t consume anything before an hour after you run, you will not get much benefit from your run. The quicker you can do this, the less you will be sore the day after you run.
You will feel less stiff in your leg muscles and will be less susceptible to injury. A good formula to determine the best recovery food after running is to eat foods that will replenish the energy you lost while you ran, but also to heal the muscles by giving them more than enough nutrients and vitamins. Here are some few examples:
Yogurt is not only great after running, but for every workout you do. Try to get the kind with live cultures in it because they will give you the greatest benefit. Whether it’s regular yogurt or soy it really doesn’t matter they are relatively all good, and will do your body good after a run. The best kind though is Greek yogurt, a little more money than the regular kind, but well worth it.
Compared to regular ol’ yogurt the Greek kind has way more protein, which is good before and after running. The best part about it? You can pick from many different flavors, from blueberry to chocolate cake!
Foods High In Antioxidants
You will need foods rich with antioxidants to replace a lot of what you depleted from your body. Many of these nutrients include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium, which are vital to your recovery. The best fruits that are high in antioxidants are blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and cherries. Much of the yogurts today already have these fruits in them.
But too get the greatest benefit I would suggest you eat them in natural form. Kale is also a great food that id high in antioxidants and is a good food to eat after running. You can also try bell peppers, sunflower seeds, apples, carrots, prunes, and dates. There are many others that would be pointless to mention here.