Top 5 Nutrition Tips for Runners
Nutrition is another vital component when it comes to running. TWO things to always consider is food QUALITY and TIMING. Eating real whole foods whenever you can to nourish, replenish and repair your body is key. And TIMING – getting to know your digestive system. This takes practice but it is a must to figure out how much food you can intake 30minutes, 60minutes and 90 minutes before a run.
- Hydrate – For running, life and any endurance sports hydration is vital. Our bodies are made up of 80% water. We need water to survive and function. I am sure you have heard drink 8 to 10 classes of water per day. This is a great guide line but if your exercising regularly you will need more than this. I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces per day. In addition when exercising drink 1-2 cups of water 1 hour before and a 1 cup about 20 to 30 minutes prior. Continue to sip water throughout your workout. Post workout consume another 1 to 2 cups of water.
- Consume quality water – Not all water is created equally. Try to get a water that has a PH > than 7 also known as alkaline water. This ensures it will contain enough minerals for your body to absorb the water properly. If your water is lower than a PH of 7, it can leach the minerals needed from your bones. This is not an ideal situation for older ladies or anyone with low bone density. To make your water more alkaline add a touch of Celtic sea salt to it for better absorption.
- Fuel prior to your workout – As a general rule, if you are eating less than one hour prior to a run keep it light and have a piece of fruit, banana, apple or energy gel. If you are eating 90 min or more prior to a run you can consume a larger quantity of food. My favourite pre-race is sprouted grain toast with natural peanut butter and 2 kiwis about 90 minutes before a run. The key is to get in some quick digesting carbohydrates with a little bit of fat and protein. Too much fat and protein will sit in your stomach for longer and will be the last to be digested so we want to keep fat and protein to a minimum.
- The “ONE HOUR” rule – I like to call this the “one hour” rule. As a guideline, if your workout is one hour or less water should be enough to keep you hydrated. If you are doing longer runs greater than one hour I recommend using a sports drink with carbohydrate and electrolytes to supply your body with adequate fuel to keep you running at your best. When choosing your carbohydrate beverage ensure that it is around 7% to 8% carbohydrates for optimal absorption.
- Eat after your workout – I always recommend fueling your body after a workout because this is when the body is craving carbohydrates and protein to help refuel the muscles for your next workout and helping repair tissue to help you get stronger. Getting in some quality carbohydrate such as fruit, a banana, kiwi, berries, will help refuel muscle glycogen (sugar stores in the muscle) so you can perform your best during your next workout. Protein will help your body tissues repair and regenerate and rebuild.
Take action and work on at least one of these tips this week!
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