Running and jogging are popular forms of exercise that can help you maintain good health and fitness levels. However, if you’re a regular runner or jogger, it’s important to ensure that you’re fuelling your body with the right foods to perform at your best. In this article, we’ll explore the foods that are best for runners and joggers, as well as what to avoid.
1. Carbohydrates are your Friend
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for runners and joggers. They provide the necessary fuel for your muscles to function properly during exercise. Carbohydrates can be found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. It’s important to incorporate these foods into your diet on a regular basis to keep your energy levels up.
2. What to Eat Before Running and When
What you eat before a run can have a big impact on your performance. It’s best to eat a meal that’s high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat about 2-3 hours before you start running. Good options include oatmeal, whole grain bread with peanut butter, or a fruit smoothie with Greek yogurt.
If you’re running first thing in the morning or don’t have time to eat a full meal, a small snack such as a banana or energy bar can provide the necessary energy boost.
3. Glucose Boosters
During long runs or intense workouts, it’s important to replenish your glucose levels to avoid hitting the wall. Good glucose boosters include sports drinks, energy gels, or foods high in simple sugars such as bananas or dates. Be sure to test different glucose boosters during training to find what works best for you.
4. What Foods Should Runners Avoid
There are some foods that runners should avoid before and during exercise. These include foods high in fat, fiber, and dairy products, which can cause stomach upset and discomfort during exercise. It’s also important to avoid sugary drinks and processed foods, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and lead to energy crashes.
5. What to Eat After a Run
After a run, it’s important to replenish your body with the nutrients it needs to recover. A meal that’s high in protein and carbohydrates can help repair muscle tissue and replenish glycogen stores. Good options include a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, a smoothie with protein powder, or a bowl of quinoa with veggies and lean protein.
6. Running to Lose Weight
If you’re running to lose weight, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in your diet. It’s also imperative to be watchful of portion sizes and avoid overeating. Good options include lean protein sources such as chicken or fish, complex carbohydrates such as brown rice or sweet potatoes, and healthy fats such as avocado or nuts.
7. Don’t Overdo It
While it’s important to fuel your body with the right foods, it’s also important not to overdo it. Eating too much or too close to your workout can cause discomfort and digestive issues. It’s also important to listen to your body and adjust your diet and exercise routine as needed.
In conclusion, fuelling your body with the right foods is key to performing at your best as a runner or jogger. Incorporate carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats into your diet, and be mindful of what you eat before, during, and after your runs. With the right nutrition, you can reach your fitness goals and enjoy the many benefits of running and jogging.