Running - Knowledge

Top Running Nutrition Tips for New Runners

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Do you have a passion for long-distance running and hence, willing to make it a career? To become a professional runner, you not just only have to undergo a proper training and be disciplined but also need to have a well-balanced runners’ diet. According to a research, it has been found that proper running nutrition plan is certainly necessary for an athlete in order to increase energy, enhance the performance and even maintain proper weight. If you are willing to start a career in long distance running then it will certainly be wise for you to check out the top nutrition tips that will help you to gain success in your professional career in a smart way.

Running Nutrition Tips for New Runners

New runners, bookmark this post as it will help you with the right nutrition for your training. From nutrition plans to what to eat pre and post run, we have simplified everything for you. All you need to do is focus on your run but with right nutrition. Take a look:

1. Make sure to be aware of basics of running nutrition plan

Whether you are going to take part in a short run or a long run, it will always be wise for you to become aware of the runners’ diet in order to gain success. A new runner should not just only have a well-balanced diet but also gain detailed information about what, when and how to make a proper running nutrition plan to achieve the goal in an efficient way. Make sure to go through the below chart to gather vital information about the type and amount of nutrient that must be included in a runner's diet.

healthy meal plan
Effective meal plan to try (source)

2. Have adequate amount of carbohydrate to gain lots of energy

Carbohydrate is otherwise referred to as fibre, sugar, glucose or starch which is generally found in different types of vegetables, fruits, milk products and grains. The American Diabetes Association has highlighted that adequate amount of carbohydrates in nutrition and diet helps a body to gain a required amount of energy.

Besides this, the researchers at the Liverpool John Moores University who have analyzed the running nutrition of 257 runners for five weeks before the start of London Marathon have confirmed that the individuals who had larger amount of carbohydrate during training session have been able to complete the race at an average of 13.4% faster than the rest of the runners. Some of the major carbohydrate sources that must be included in the nutrition for runners are berries, bananas, brown rice, low-fat yoghurt, tomato sauce, and oatmeal.

When and how much carbohydrate must be included in the diet of professional runners?

A higher intake of carbohydrate is certainly necessary for the body when you are exercising or undergoing a physical activity for more than 90 minutes or even more. To get the best results ensure to include carbohydrate in runner's diet in the following manner-

  • Make sure to increase the intake of carbohydrate in runner nutrition before 1 to 3 days of the start of a marathon race. If you are an average runner or a beginner in this professional field, it will be wise for you to have 5 to 7 grams of carbohydrate per Kg of your body weight. On the other hand, highly experienced runners must have around 10 grams per Kg of their body weight.
  • Go for food rich in carbohydrate about 3 to 4 hours of the start of a race.
  • Lastly, at just the start of a particular race ensure to include pancakes, fruit bars and rice in runner's nutrition plan that have a low amount of carbohydrate and can even be easily digested. 
running nutrition
Fuel for the body

3. Ensure to include food rich in protein in your daily diet

Protein is a unique macronutrient or large molecules which are needed by the human body for building up of muscles. Some of the rich sources of protein are legumes, nuts, and animal products. According to a research, it has been found that adequate amount of protein in runners nutrition plan is of great importance for recovering and preventing injuries and even maintenance and growth of lean muscles. If you wish to get rid of weakness in muscles and even improve the immune system then ensure to have food rich in protein in your daily nutrition and diet.

When and how much protein must be included in the daily diet?

Clinical studies have highlighted that a running nutrition or a daily diet of a person undergoing resistance training must include around 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per Kg of the total body weight of a person. But if you are not undergoing a training session then make sure to have protein which equals to 0.8 gram per Kg of your body weight. Besides this, it has also been found that overdose of protein in runner nutrition plan is not at all a concern for the healthy and professional runners. Professional runners must have high-quality protein from various sources such as- arctic salmon, turkey, nuts and organic free eggs.

running nutrition
Add protiens while running (source)

4. Include fat in your daily diet

Fat is a vital nutrient which is necessary to provide an enormous amount of energy to the human body. Your body needs a small amount of healthy fat in order to get rid of various types of diseases and function properly. Clinical studies have highlighted that saturated fat found in meat and dairy products must be included in running nutrition plan in order to enjoy ultimate benefits. 

When and how much good fat must be included in the runner’s daily diet?

If you are going to have training for a marathon then it will certainly be wise for you to include 50 to 70 grams of healthy fat in the daily nutrition for runners. 

fats for runners
Meat is necessary for a runner's body

5. Have fruits to enjoy unique benefits

Fruits are certainly essential for not only the experienced runners but also for the beginners because these are low in calories and rich in vital vitamins. In order to follow a good nutrition plan, it will always be wise for you to have lots of fruits to provide an adequate amount of fuel to the body and thereby get the opportunity to perform in a marathon race with full potential. Some of the different types of fruits that you must include in your running nutrition plan are bananas, blueberries, avocados, and oranges. If you wish to get best results and even gain success in your professional field as a runner then ensure to have 2 to 3 portions of fruits daily. 

fruits for runners
Colorful and healthy

6. Ensure to include fresh vegetables in your daily diet

If you wish to make a career in running then it will certainly be wise for you ensure that at least half of your plate during a specific meal must be full of fresh vegetables which are rich in vitamin, antioxidants, and minerals. Some of the major vegetables that you must include in your marathon nutrition plan are beetroot, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach.

green vegetables for runners
Healthy foods for faster run

7. Make sure to stay properly hydrated throughout the day

If you wish to enhance your performance level during a specific marathon competition then it will certainly be wise for you to stay hydrated throughout the day. According to several clinical studies, it has been found that a number of running sessions lead to loss of water from the body in the form of sweat which ultimately results in the decrease in the volume of blood in your body. The decrease in the volume of the blood is one of the major reasons due to which your heart has to work harder in order to provide an adequate amount of oxygen to the muscles for proper functioning. If you wish to get rid of negative impact on your performance level then it will be wise for you to stay hydrated in the following ways-

  • Ensure to have about 20 ounces of fluid before 2 hours of starting a training session.
  • Go for 8 to 10 ounces of fluid just before 10 minutes of starting a training session.
  • While undergoing a training session ensure to have about 4 to 8 ounces of fluid after every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • After the completion of a specific training session, ensure to have 24 ounces of fluid in order to stay hydrated properly.
stay hydrated
Essential liquid for the body

8. Make sure to have a balanced and healthy diet

Being a professional runner, if you wish to perform at your utmost potential then it will certainly be wise for you to have a balanced and healthy diet and even follow a good nutrition plan to gain the right amount of fuel for different running sessions. Make sure to follow the below guide to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet in the best possible way.-
Make sure to have your meal after every regular interval as it will help you to keep a balanced blood sugar level, maintain lean muscles and even enable you to enhance the metabolism rate.

9. Ensure to include lots of vegetables and fruits in your daily diet

Always ensure to include good fat in your running nutrition plan. A healthy or good fat generally refers to saturated fats (butter, regular fat milk, lamb, and sausages), polyunsaturated fats (walnuts, flax seeds, corn oil, flaxseed, and soybean oil) and monounsaturated fats (avocado, sunflower oil, peanut oil, nuts and olive oil). 

  • Ensure to go for fluids and beverages that are calorie free.
  • Make sure to include a wide variety of highly nutritious foods in your running nutrition plan. 
  • If you wish to lose excess weight then ensure to include lots of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
  • Make sure to go for the specific amount of caffeine which you can easily tolerate. 
  • Ensure to get rid of processed foods and only have high-quality foods such as energy bars, gels sports drinks, and gummies.
foods for runner
Healthy diet for a good run

Pre-training Nutrition

Below has been discussed about some of the vital points about daily diet and nutrition for beginners that you must follow during a pre-marathon training session. During the training session, your daily marathon nutrition plan must include about 70% of carbohydrate, 20% of fat and 10% of protein. For proper nutrition during training, it will be wise for you to increase the consumption of carbohydrates to increase the potentiality of your muscles to work more.

What to eat before a run?

It will be wise for you to ensure that your body has been able to gain lots energy in order to perform in a specific marathon race with an utmost level of potentiality. If you are going to take part in marathon race early in the morning then ensure to include food rich in carbohydrate in your running nutrition plan. Besides this, it will be wise for you to stay hydrated and even avoid foods that will make you feel lethargy and lazy during the race. During the day of the marathon race, the nutrition for beginners must include at least 400 to 600 calories in order to gain lots of energy. Some of the top foods that you can munch on before running are bananas, oats, peanut butter, whole wheat bread toasts, fruits and much more. 

what to eat before a run
Options before your run

What to eat after a run?

After the completion of the race, it will be wise for you to go for a light meal which can be easily digested. Besides this, it will also be wise for you to have fruit in order to stabilize the blood sugar level and even recover from the running session in a safe way. Besides proper running nutrition plan, ensure to consider some stretching exercises to recover from muscle pain gently. 

Conclusion

Whether you are willing to have proper nutrition during the training session or for a particular marathon race, it will be wise for you to have food that is rich in vital nutrients, carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins in order to gain lots of energy and face cut-throat competition in your professional field in a smart way. Besides this, always ensure to choose healthy food and even eat smartly to handle extreme running sessions in a perfect way. Please feel free to convey whether the above nutrition tips helped you in achieving your professional goal in a smart way.

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