The Runners Diet: The Essential Food Groups You Need As A Runner And Why
The runners diet is probably the most crucial component to anyone who wants to increases their running level, increase their speed, and become an overall more efficient runner. And this doesn’t only apply to runners, it includes everyone.
Whether they want to build muscle, loose weight, become a better athlete; their diet plan directly affects their output levels. Many people concern themselves with their workouts, when their main concern should be with their diet and meal plans.
I don’t care if you can run 50 miles in a day, if you don’t replace your body with the nutrients that it needs then you will never get to the level you want to be at. You can even slack on your workouts and still maintain you fitness levels, but if you don’t eat the right foods so your body can heal itself, then don’t expect to win any race anytime soon.
Even when people know this principle, they don’t know what foods they should be eating. There’s so much confusion as to what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it. But people need to stop listening to people and stat listening to their bodies. If they can do this then all that confusion will go away and you will start to be clear on what your diet should look like.
The Different Between REAL Nutrition And Poser Nutrition
Poser nutrition is what many companies want you to buy, things like energy drinks and energy bars. Although there is a time and place for these things, they wont give you the proper nutrition that your body craves. Yes they give you energy to power through your workouts, but before and after your workouts, you should fill your stomach with proper nutrition.
Whole foods that give you essential vitamins and nutrients. Which brings us to actually drill down the categories that are most important for runners.
The Essential Food Groups You Need As A Runner
The first category that is most popular among runners is carbohydrates. There is some confusion about carbs and I think it should be addressed. One thing that people do is to label a carbohydrate into one category. But there are two categories that carbs fall into. There good carbohydrates (complex carbohydrates) and the other type is, well, SOMETIMES bad (simple carbohydrates).
What I mean by “sometimes” is that the amount of carbohydrates you eat determines if it will benefit you or not. For example, orange juice is great, and it is considered a simple carbohydrate. Orange juice provides a lot of vitamin C and other valuable nutrients, but if you drink too much of it you may get unwanted results because of its high amount of sugars (simple carbs). So knowing the difference is important.
So you may be asking, well why are carbs so important to running and how will it make me a better runner? Well simply put they five your body energy in the form of glucose. And when your body stores that glucose it becomes glycogen, which is a way for your body to use energy when it needs it. So if you are on a distance run, your body tells your muscles to use the glycogen because you are depleting your energy and your body needs more.
Protein is best when it is in the form of lean meat, like chicken or lean steak. Some people may like soy, but soy is not even close to the amount of protein and other vital nutrients that your muscles need to repair themselves. It is also best if it is consumed from diary products, more specifically whey protein. If you have ever taken a protein supplement, chances are it was about 90% whey protein. Why whey? Because whey is the pure form of protein that your body digests the quickest, speeding up your recovery periods. Whey has keeps your immune system healthy, avoiding any sickness or preventing injuries.
Protein is essential for runners because there body needs it and with some good protein from the examples above you will increase your energy to power through your workouts without any crash, compared to energy drinks.
Seeds And Nuts
If you think about it seeds and nuts are capable of creating a plant. So don’t you think those seeds are loaded with nutrients that will help you grow and develop your own body? This is also an essential food category that you must utilize if you want great results in your workouts. Different types of seeds and nuts offer a variety of beneficial value to a runner, from protein to Omega-3 fatty acids.
They give you the necessary energy to power though workouts and they help you recovery from the stress you put on your body. Walnuts especially, are some of the best foods you can eat right before you do any type of physical activity. They are packed with protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, zinc, and many essential amino acids.
When To Eat What Foods
A well balanced diet is important, but if you don’t know when to eat what foods during a certain time of the day then you can greatly affect you workout output, your running endurance, and your running speed. Every runner should generally want to eat several small meals thought the day to keep your metabolism fast and to maintain a healthy digestive system. It also helps maintain your blood sugar levels and balanced your hormone production.
Your meals should be a balanced between carbs, protein, and every other food group to make should your glucose levels are efficient so you can power though your workouts without being tired easily. You should try to load up on most of your carbs in the morning of your day and gradually start eating foods that are high in protein at noon. This will make you body store enough glycogen for the day and then as you eat protein it will give you extra energy.
Tight before you run you should get a lot of protein. It is easiest to grab a handful of nuts right before you go for a run. This will give you a boost in energy levels and while you are working out and that energy is burning out, you will start using the energy that your body stored from all the carbs you eat in the morning. And immediately after your run you should get a lot of nutrients to heal your body.
If you liked this article check out my NEW eBook, “Effortless Runner“. I go more in depth about the actual meal plan you should be implementing.