One of the most important things to run your best, is to have a balanced diet. To get the best in performance, endurance and recovery out of your body, you will need to be concentrating on not only what you eat but when you eat. Optimized running performances are dependent on consuming quality foods in a larger quantity, as well as careful timing of when you eat.
To eat like an athlete, remember these 5 rules as everyday guidelines:
- Don’t run on empty. Have a couple hundred calorie snack about an hour before you run to stay energized on your run.
- Keep a healthy balance. Carbs are a great source of fuel for a runner, but fat and protein are just as important. Healthy fats help prevent injuries and keep the heart healthy. Protein rebuilds muscle tissue to make you stronger.
- Start a food diary. Keep a diary of what you eat for a few days to get an idea of your food variety, fat and calorie intake. Make adjustments based on how you feel during runs and make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
- Nix the junk. Going out for a run after eating too many cookies or having too many cocktails can be brutal. Find a balance that works for you, like the 80-20 rule. 80% of the time maintain healthy eating habits and 20% of the time go ahead and indulge!
- Drink, drink, drink. Each day try to drink half your weight in ounces. Most runners tend to be dehydrated so make it a goal to stay hydrated!
For more comprehensive tips on how to keep your gas tank full while you’re on the run, check out this great guide from Runner’s World.