Nutrition for Runners
Running is one of the best forms of exercise for weight management.
Have a think…would you rather be lighter on the scales or a smaller clothes size?
Most people will say the latter. Appearances are usually a higher priority. As you train, you develop more muscle tissue which weighs more than fat tissue. So you may see a small weight increase in the early days, but along with this a shift in body shape and tone, as the balance shifts towards more lean body tissue. The lean tissue uses fuel so this will help use up excess calories.
Understanding what we eat:
Look out for hidden fats in meats, biscuits, cakes, pastries and many processed and packaged foods, start to look at food labels and identify any obvious and regular pitfalls even if weight change is not an issue, exchanging some of those fats for carbohydrates will improve your energy levels and your vitamin and mineral intake.
When beginners start running they often make the mistake of not eating enough food or they choose the wrong kind. An example of this would be someone who doesn’t eat before a run and eats a chocolate bar straight after. We aim to give you an insight into what kind of foods you should be eating and when for maximum energy and a body that feels recovered inside and out.
To be able to exercise at your best you need to eat food that will supply you with the most amount of energy. This will stop you from feeling hungry during training and give the body the fuel it needs to keep exercising at your maximum. Good pre-exercise snacks eaten approximately 1-2hours before running include cereal bars, bananas, dried fruit, yoghurt, an apple or maybe a small peanut butter sandwich. These snacks supply lots of quick releasing carbohydrates, which are digested and absorbed quickly leaving you feeling ready to go!
During your run you need to keep well hydrated so plenty of water especially before and after. Good recovery snacks for just after exercise include fruit, malt loaf, smoothies, nuts and dried fruit, which contain easy to digest carbohydrates (unlike a chocolate bar). It is important to eat something within 30 minutes of finishing exercise to help your body recover and replenish energy stores. This should minimise muscle stiffness and soreness.
Good recovery meals include beans on toast, jacket potato with tuna, pasta with a tomato based sauce or rice with chicken and stir fry vegetables. These contain good sources of protein, fat and carbohydrate. It is important to eat well when exercising and up your calorie intake when you up the running to avoid fatigue and lower
your chances of injury. Aim to eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, especially unprocessed foods to replenish the minerals and vitamins essential to keep your body healthy.
Keeping a food diary so you can track exactly what you are eating and how you feel on running days is a good idea. We will all have times where we feel lethargic and low on energy and it is interesting to see what you ate before to look at changing or increasing it for next time. Exercising should make you feel alive and refreshed and good food choices are an essential part of this.
At Jelly Legs we work very closely with fitness and weight loss experts who are happy to offer our members advice on their diets. For more individual, in-depth analysis of your nutrition we also have a fitness weight loss expert who can tailor his analysis on what you require e.g. weight loss, weight gain, dietary constraints or nutrition for a specific challenge. The cost of his consultation will depend on what is required.
Please contact email@example.com or 01227 830984 for more information.