The hungry runner
Are you a hungry runner? Have you started to increase your distance towards a half marathon or further? Are you always thinking about food and often found searching the cupboards for food? Welcome to the world of distance running.
As well as being tasty, food is fuel. It provides energy and we need enough food of the right type for the body to perform. Here are some tips to help you with you hunger.
Eat protein at each meal. It can help us feel fuller for longer.
Good sources of protein include eggs, chicken, turkey, meat, fish, dairy, and good quality protein powders. You can also try a small snack in the morning and afternoon or before bed, and you can increase the quantity of the snack as your training increases.
If you’re running longer distances then you may not digest protein well before your run, in these cases you need to ensure you're getting protein in your other meals and focus mainly on carbohydrates before runs.
Eat sufficient carbohydrate.
As you increase the training distance you'll probably need to add more carbohydrate to your diet, perhaps another potato, some oatcakes, homemade flapjacks, or an extra bowl of porridge. You can do this across the week or you can plan it around your runs, it depends what works for you and what the rest of your week involves. Many people worry about weight gain during training periods, if this is the case then please consult an expert who can help guide you. Cutting back on carbohydrates might make you more susceptible to infections and have an insufficient amount of energy for your run.
Can I eat fruit?
With all the news about sugar a lot of my clients worry about eating fruit. Fruit is a good source of many nutrients, you can make use of it for energy and the nutrients it supplies. A banana has a high glycemic load (GL) which means it provides fast release energy. A banana is great before a run if you can digest it, or after the run when you need to refuel. If you are focusing on weight loss though then there is other fruit that’s a better choice for a morning snack. Fruit such as blueberries and other berries have a low glycemic load, therefore they provide a slower release of energy and are a useful and tasty breakfast and snack option. So the answer is that yes you can eat fruit!
Try a food diary.
Try keeping a food diary, then you can monitor how you feel and perform when you run, and how your food relates this. Share this with the team supporting you, including your Nutritional Therapist.