Last weekend I went to support my brother and cousin at the City Pier City Marathon (in The Hague). They did the amazing job of running 10K both within an hour. It was exciting and inspiring to see so many runners with their supporters during this huge event. It got me motivated to start running again. I haven’t been running for a long time while I used to do it at least 2 till 3 times a week.
I started this week and I have to say so far so good. The first things I did was putting up a running schedule and preparing what to eat, either before or after my run. Because a good race depends on more than just your training. So in order for me to improve my performance and speed, I consider what it is I put into my body. I’ve noticed that with eating the right foods at the right time, boosts my running performance tremendously. I want to share my favourite best foods for every runner.
If there were ever a mascot food for runners, the banana would be IT. You can’t go wrong with a banana if what you need is a high-carb energy booster right before your run. They are a prime source of a healthy dose of potassium. Which is kind of important if you go for a long-distance run or in hot temperatures when you are likely to sweat a lot (like me..) and thus lose valuable minerals. Potassium, sodium, magnesium and chloride compensate for this loss AND lowers your blood pressure at the same time.
OATS A RUNNER’S SECRET WEAPON
I know, I know, you’ve heard for ages all about how great oatmeal is for your body. But this is another great source of high-quality carbohydrates. However, oatmeal is not a complete protein like quinoa is. To make a complete protein I combine my oats with dairy or legumes. The benefits of eating oats are plenty and proven.
This delicious fish increases muscular strength. In a study from Wake Forest University Medical School, participants with greater levels of vitamin D in their bloodstreams displayed better handgrip strength. Salmon is rich in omega-3 which helps in strengthen your heart. It’s very tasty to combine salmon with a salad or with vegetables.
They say one of the best nutrition for runners is Yoghurt. It contains lots of carbohydrates and protein which makes it ideal to eat before or after a run. Go for the Greek yoghurt if you want to have the extra protein that is great for a post-run snack. I maximize its nutritional profile by adding my own flavourings like honey, vanilla and fruits.
Eating broccoli helps with your performance. It’s no coincidence that broccoli is known as the power food among runners. It’s full of vitamin C which according to many studies, helps to reduce the risk of sore muscles after an intense workout. Broccoli also contains vitamin K, folic acid and calcium, which helps in strengthen your bones. My tip: Salmon and broccoli taste great together or beef and broccoli – a dish that I eat several times while travelling in Vietnam.
Another great source of vitamin C is berries. They contain lots of vitamin C to keep your body working at top speed! Because berries are like little balls of healthy sugar 🙂
I eat hummus as it helps me to fill up after the run. It contains primarily fibre and protein as it’s made with chickpeas. And chickpeas promote a healthy repair of the muscles. Sidenote: avoid eating hummus before going on a run.
AN IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE ABOUT RUNNING FOODS
It’s not necessary to eat food first if you’re going for a run for 30 to 45 minutes. Why? Well because your body has enough energy to keep going for that long, as it taps right into its fat stores. Going for a run longer than an hour? Then it’s a good idea to eat something before you go running. Eating these foods prevents you from getting dehydrated or sweating all of your nutrients out.
WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU – WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RUNNING FOOD? WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST?