Nutrition tips every runner should keep in mind

You can set a goal to break your own record or you want to participate in a marathon or you run to keep fit, it’s not important, what’s important is to have a goal and try to achieve it. But you should know that regardless of your exercise routines, if you don’t give your body what it needs, you are likely to struggle a lot more to achieve certain goals. No energy, no results.

The A runner’s caloric expenditure in training or in a race is intense and its nutritional needs are very high. Not surprisingly, some estimates of energy expenditure when wearing running shoes – taking into account variables such as weight or speed – can lead to figures that hover around 500 or 1,000 calories. For example, a person who weighs about 70 kilos and runs at a pace of 12 km/h can burn almost 500 calories in half an hour of running.

Therefore, nutrition is automatically a determining factor in performance and it is necessary that the athlete’s diet is generally balanced, in accordance with both his physiological condition and the length and intensity of sports practice.

porridge with fruit and honey on a wooden tablepinterest

The combination of oats and fruit is a good choice in your meal.

Arx0nt//Getty Images

Nutrition is the foundation

An assumption to keep in mind, since many runners, especially amateurs, have doubts about how to plan their diet before they start running: “A diet, especially for runners, should consist of high carbohydrate content (between 50% and 60%) as they provide quick energy, although this should always be tailored to the individual athlete. Fats should make up about 30% of a runner’s daily diet. The remaining 20% ​​should be the protein base,” says Dr Paloma Suarez, head of the sports medicine department at Vithas Las Palmas. An assumption to keep in mind, given that many runners, especially amateurs, have doubts about how to plan their diet before they start running.

Ideally, the consumed products should be fresh, seasonaland that they absolutely avoid ultra-processed products.

Mealtime is important

In any case, it is important, in addition to the type of food, to plan your intake according to when you train and not leave it to chance. “It is advisable that athletes do not experiment and do not introduce unusual products into their daily diet. The right thing to do is to have a breakfast rich in carbohydrates, with foods such as oatmeal or bread, accompanied by fruit such as banana or watermelon, as well as ham and fresh cheese or scrambled eggs and nuts. Breakfast also supplies the body with proteins and fats needed during the race,” says Dr. Suárez.

In addition, the professional is not against drinking coffee. “If we usually drink coffee for breakfast, we don’t have to exclude it before the race. “Caffeine intake accelerates sensory activation and promotes greater neuromuscular engagement, which benefits performance during a race,” he concludes.

The power of hydration

Finally, Dr. Suárez cites the conclusions of a study from the University of Connecticut. American scientists say that a minimal loss of fluids can significantly change the resistance and lead to dehydration of the runner. It is therefore logical to think that hydration is essential for everyone: drinking water is essential before, during and after testing our bodies.

This is different if the training or competition takes place in the evening or at night. In this case, it is advisable to avoid foods with a high fiber and fat content, due to their absorption process. “Legumes such as chickpeas or beans or vegetables such as cauliflower or lettuce can cause slow digestion, so eating foods rich in carbohydrates, such as rice or potatoes, can work in a runner’s favor“, says the sports medicine expert.

“Meals before running should be rich and varied, but light, so that the body has time to process the food. Runners should eat the last meal in time (2-3 hours) before physical activity, so that it can be digested. If the runner needs it, can be refreshed before the race or training. For example, a banana or a piece of toast with peanut butter,” adds the specialist.


As you can see, everything related to nutrition is extremely important to successfully manage training or a race, although fortunately, if we follow some recommendations, the costs in the energy replenishment basket will not be. totally unreasonable. Coffee, bananas, watermelon, rice and oatmeal are five very available and cheap products that can guarantee good performance.

Leave a Comment