To be a great runner, it’s not all about the best running shoes or running gear, but the food you put in your body. Check out these five foods that all runners should eat to help feel energized for a run.
As mentioned, a diet rich in complex carbohydrates is ideal for runners and oatmeal is the perfect choice due to it’s heart healthy soluble fiber, satiety factor, versatility and ease of preparation. It provides long lasting energy with 25-30 of carbohydrates per serving and 4-7 grams of protein (varying amounts in rolled oats versus steel cut).
This power food is rich in Omega 3s fatty acids which are essential part of a heart healthy and anti-inflammatory diet. Runners benefit from this nutrient dense high protein food which is also high in Vitamins B6 and B12. The B Vitamins plays an important role in converting food to energy and help the body metabolize those fats and protein. Salmon is also high in selenium which protects against heart disease. If you want something other than a piece of baked salmon, try adding chopped salmon to your salads, or use salmon in the pouches or cans for a quick salmon salad sandwich.
Oranges are the perfect fruit for athletes, especially runners. They are a low calorie antioxidant-rich food and one orange provides more than 100% of the daily Vitamin C needs, which is important to neutralize cell-damage. The are easy to eat right out of the peel or added to salads or smoothies.
Eggs are one of the highest quality protein out there. They are also high in Vitamin K which is essential for healthy bones. Eggs also contain a nutrient called choline which is good for brain power (i.e. memory) and the substance lutein, which is good for your eyes. Not only are they nutritious and taste good, they are affordable and easy to prepare. Make an egg sandwich, snack on hard-boiled eggs pre or post-run or try mini frittatas for on-the-go.
5. Nuts and Nut Butters
All nuts are healthy, but walnuts and almonds in particular are great for runners due to the high Omega 3 fatty acid content, the antioxidant Vitamin E and anti-inflammatory nutrients that are also good for bone health. They are also a good source of protein and fiber. Nuts are portable, can be mixed with dried fruit for a carbohydrate source as well. The convenience of nut butters is also an advantage; you don’t have to worry about spoiling and they can be enjoyed with fruit, oatmeal, on toast or straight off the spoon.