What to Eat as a Runner: A Comprehensive Guide
Fueling your body is essential if you want to perform at your best as a runner. Eating the right combination of foods gives you the necessary energy to power through your runs and helps keep you healthy and injury-free. It can be tricky to figure out what to eat when running, so we’ve put together this guide to help you make smart, balanced food choices that will help enhance performance without sacrificing taste.
Carbohydrates for Energy
Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for runners, as they provide a readily available form of energy in the form of glucose. Complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads and cereals, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and sweet potatoes should be included in your diet on a daily basis. These carbohydrates are broken down slowly by the body and provide sustained energy over an extended period of time. On days when you plan to run longer distances or higher intensities, choose simple carbohydrates such as white bread or pasta — these digest faster than complex carbs and will give you an immediate boost prior to exercise. During exercise lasting more than 90 minutes, it is beneficial to take on board some carbohydrate in the form of gels or sports drinks; this will help maintain blood glucose levels and ensure that energy levels remain high throughout your run.