To run long distances, you need to train your body and have plenty of energy reserves to boot. Some can’t even run for a minute without panting, but the best athletes can run for almost an entire day. How do they achieve such a feat? Besides training and endurance, they need to have plenty of nutrition, as it regulates your blood sugar and makes cramps less frequent.
See, you can’t run if your diet isn’t up to stuff. Because a professional athlete uses so much energy, they need an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which help them recover. In fact, their nutrition is just as important, if not more so, than their training. So how does one fuel their nutrition, anyway?
Breakfast is Key
No matter when you run, even if it’s at night, you need to have breakfast. This is because breakfast helps your body fuel the first time in the morning. If you run in the morning, you should always supplement your body with a nutrition bar or shake to give your body the fuel it needs.
Not only that, but breakfast starts fueling your metabolism, and boost your digestive system. In other words, you lose more weight while keeping up a nice sleep schedule and having plenty of energy. By making breakfast your most important meal of the day, you can be able to eat less for subsequent meals, making you lean and strong.
Eat Plenty of Plants
Supplements are good and all, but your body needs to have real food in order to get the most fuel. While each food has its purpose, plants are perhaps the most important form of energy you can obtain. When heading to the store, look for these plants:
- Vegetables: spinach, kale, bets, tomatoes, chard, cucumbers, carrots, and peppers
- Nuts: Pecans, almonds, cashews, and walnuts
- Plant Milk: Coconut, cashew, and almond
- Seeds: Chia, hemp, and flax seeds
- Fruit: Bananas, berries, ranges, apples, peaches, pineapple, and bananas
- Legumes: pinto beans, green beans, black beans, and peanuts
- Oils: Ghee, olive, grapeseed, and coconut
You can eat these foods however you feel like. Not everyone likes eating leaves, so you can make smoothies or juices out of them. Blending is better than juicing because it gives your veggies more fiber, while blending greens makes them easily drinkable.
Eat Empty Foods Sparingly
Empty calories, or foods that contain no nutritional value, are not ideal for a good runner. Most of your foods should be a good blend of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. As we’ve said, you can mix and match to make health eating enjoyable.
Macro Balancing is Important
When choosing your food, you need to figure out your macronutrients. Essentially, these are the three main parts of healthy nutrition, and they’re protein, fats, and carbs. All three work together to give you the best health imaginable.
Make sure you add them to every meal you can, and keep an approximate ratio of 40 percent carbs, 40 percent protein, and 20 percent of healthy fats. One good idea is to have an egg omlette with a banana and almond butter smoothie. Make sure you’re eating wholesome foods and not those that are overly processed. Check out your local farmer’s market for the most wholesome vegetables you can find.
Your Fridge Should be Full
Don’t start running on an empty fridge! After spending hours upon hours of running, a good runner needs lots of food. To save you a trip to the grocery, keep your fridge stocked up with healthy foods that can easily be prepared.
By having plenty of healthy foods ready, you can avoid eating out. One good idea is to plan. Write a schedule of what meals you’re going to eat for a week, and keep your fruit and veggies chopped ahead of time. Also, you can pack your fridge with beef, soup, and quiches, and these are all healthy foods that make a great meal.
Your foods should always be filled with nutrition of the highest quality. Not only does it need to make up for all the calories you burn, but it needs to be replenished of nutrition. Because of this, always have plenty of plants with a side of protein from lean meats.
For meat, keep a good supply of chicken, fish, eggs, and beef, and try to go grass-fed and wild-caught if you can. If you’re a vegetarian, you can always get your protein from beans, seeds, and nuts.
Before, during, and after a run, you need to be hydrated at all times. The average amount of water people drinks usually won’t suffice. Bring as much water as you can, bring sports drinks, and consume plenty of freshly squeezed juices to keep your hydration in check.
To be a master runner, you need to keep all your nutrition in check. You can’t outrun a bad diet, so make sure you eat plenty of foods that are rich in carbs, healthy fats, and protein. So start stocking up your fridge!