Nutrition for Running

Are you a new runner and wondering what should you eat when you run?

With so much information in the news and magazines it can certainly be challenging to work out. Here are my top tips to make it practical for you.
Short distance such as 5K, 20 minutes or a couple of miles: Usually no need to change your normal food unless you are aiming to lose weight or get healthier.
Up to 1 hour:  Carry a drink with you if it’s warm.  Eat well the night before or the day preceding the run.  Some runners need to leave a gap of 2-3 hours between their last meal and running. After the run, eat a balanced meal (protein, fat and carbohydrates) within about 20 minutes of finishing your run. You might need to prepare something in advance and reheat it, or take a smoothie with you (e.g. blend natural yoghurt with a banana and nut butter) for afterwards.   
Half marathons, marathons and ultra-events: Some expert advice can really start to help you here, you need optimum nutrition to support your training, competition performance and recovery (so you can keep to your training plan). Digestive niggles, immune issues and other discomfort is common in runners.  Many runners find that they need to put more focus on what they eat as they increase distance or frequency. For example they have a favourite meal the night before a race and they test this meal out during the training period. It will be something that they are confident with e.g. chicken, rice and vegetables. With fruit and vegetables aim to eat a ‘Rainbow of Colours’ towards achieving a cross section of nutrients and phytonutrients.

This information does not replace medical advice.

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40

Written by Joanne Hart

Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40

Joanne Hart of health & hart is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Motivational Coach. She works with professionals and athletes to help you as you're releasing you inner potential. By tailoring your nutrition she helps you move towards optimum health and performance for life, work and your sport.

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