7 Best Food For Runners

eggs

Do you know that what you eat is crucial to how you perform as a runner. There are certain foods that can boost your performance, likewise, there are also foods that are not so beneficial to you as well. As a general rule of thumb, I like to follow the few pointers below when choosing my food.

Easily Available – What use is a superfood if you can’t get it readily from your supermarkets. If you need to get it online or a specialized store, then it’s probably too much trouble.

Affordable and Tasty – Who says good foods have to taste bad and eating good food doesn’t have to be taxing on your wallet.

Suitable for You – Eating good food may be important, but do not force yourself to eat something you don’t enjoy or not suitable for your body. There are plenty of substitutes out there.

All right, without further ado, let’s proceed with our list of 7 best food for runners!

 

1. Eggs

The most egg-citing food to kick start the list is one of the most versatile food of all, Eggs! They contain a good amount of proteins and essential amino acids to help you with recovery. The best thing about eggs is that they are cheap and very easy to conjure up a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes.

2. Salmon

Salmon is one of the best fish you can consume. It not only contains a high-quality of protein, there is also a lot of omega 3 fats inside as well. Omega 3 fats can help boost heart health which is important for runners.

3. Bananas

Bananas are one of my favourite foods ever. Bananas are very useful for a morning pre-run snack because they are easy to consume and digest. Usually, one or two bananas are enough to fuel me for a 4 to 6km run because they are almost all carbohydrates. Furthermore, they contain a high level of potassium which is lost in sweat when you run.

bananas

4. Oatmeal

Some good old fashioned oatmeal your grandma always ask you to eat has many benefits. They contain a good amount of carbohydrates which are essential for runners. What’s more, oatmeal is a high-fibre, low-glycemic index food which provides long-lasting energy. This could only mean good news for long distance runners because they can run much longer.

5. Kale

Kale is one of the most antioxidant rich foods you can buy in the market. The reason why it looks like cabbage is because it belongs to the same family. It contains vitamins A, B6, C and K, when is the last time you hear so many vitamins in a food, especially a vegetable! Furthermore, It has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the risk of exercise-induced muscle damage that is very common among runners.

kale

6. Milk

Milk contains many important nutrients. A glass of milk (200ml) can give you protein, calcium, potassium, iodine, phosphorus and vitamins B2 and B12. These are all nutrients that are highly beneficial for runners and they are easy to consume and absorb. For those who have lactose intolerance, you can check out my previous article on Soy Milk vs. Almond Milk.

7. Whole Wheat Pasta

For all the pasta lovers, you are in luck. Pasta is one of the best foods to consume before or after a long run or race because they contain a high level of carbohydrates. Not only that, whole wheat pasta is also considered a long-lasting energy source. This means that runners can conquer those marathons with stamina to spare and tell the other runners ‘Hasta la pasta, baby’ (Let me show myself out LOL).

pasta

 

There are definitely many others out there that are considered as best food for runners but these are my favourites so far. One more thing, you do not have to be a runner to consume all these food to reap its health benefits.

Do you agree with this list or do you have any other food you wish to add on? Comment below and let us know. Till next time!

 

Cheers and Start Running Today

Will

 

20 Comment

  1. These are some good choices for food. I used to be a big runner, I could go 5 miles a day, but with the job I got last year I have lost a lot of time and also a lot of motivation due to the time I lost, I am definitely looking to get back into it soon however, and I’ll be eating more of these foods again.
    Have you ever participated in the color run? I’ve always wanted to back when I was in good shape.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Jacob

      Thanks for dropping by, it’s such a waste that you missed some running time since then. I hope you find the time to revert back to more running soon. No, I have not tried the color run but it definitely looks fun. I am still a beginner runner so I am looking to challenge a 10 km race first.

  2. Fred says: Reply

    This article helped me out so much… thank you! I just said to myself the other day that I want to get into shape so I can run a marathon 🙂 Great post!

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Fred, glad to be of help. Yes, it is a great goal to be able to run a marathon, good luck with that!

  3. All of those food choices look great even if you aren’t a runner. I totally agree that you need to fuel your body with the best food choices available, and you don’t really need power bars and energy drinks when you get what you need from healthy food choices.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Kathy, that is a good way of looking at it that I never thought of. Yes, modern people are too obsessed with too much manufactured power bars and energy drinks that they forgot natural foods are equally as nutritious if not more.

  4. Wow, this is an amazing website. You had give some great information for a life style health. Thank you so much, your articles are useful, keep up your good work very nice!
    sophie64

    1. Will says: Reply

      Thank you for the kind compliments Sophie!

  5. Those foods are perfect for someone who is running. Food is fuel, I think many forget that. I know people who run and eat a horrible diet, they think they can eat anything because they run for long distances. They are always getting sick, muscle cramps and worse. I hope people heed your advice because it is good advice! Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Linda

      Thank you for the kind words, yes, I totally agree with you because I used to be one of those persons! I used to eat a lot of junk food until recently when I realized the importance of good foods to a runner.

  6. Bananas and Kale (with strawberries, blueberries and coconut milk) is my go-to favorite smoothie before a run. It provides the energy I need for my routine midnight runs!

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Arianan

      This sounds like a yummy smoothie recipe, I will definitely have to give it a try next time. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Furkan says: Reply

    Hi, I can’t digest gluten well, so is there any alternative you can suggest instead of whole wheat pasta?

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Furkan

      Rice is a popular gluten-free alternative for you to try. Hope that helps.

  8. I love all these foods except the kale. I actually eat a lot of these foods when I get up in the morning such as eggs, lactose milk(since I am lactose intolerant), and oatmeal. The wheat pasta is a dinnertime thing. It is rare though that you find foods that are good for you that taste good. Chocolate milk helps a lot when I need protein when I exercise.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Jana

      Wow, you almost have the same diet as me then. Eggs and oatmeal are my favourites in the morning too. I tend to have pasta for lunch more often though and I prefer to end the day with rice.

  9. Owain says: Reply

    Hey some great tips here. I too want to start running again so I was interestied in what to include in my diet. I have never tried oatmeal and kale before so will add them to my diet. Also never tried whole wheat pasta, so will have to try that as well.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Owain

      Kale, Pasta and Oatmeal are great once you get used to them. You will be surprised why you didn’t include them in your stable diet previously.

  10. Liz says: Reply

    Really great foods for running and weight lifting! Awesome info! I love your pictures of the bananas! Haha. Nutrition is a huge part of performance success, so I’m glad you’ve provided such accurate information — so many people focus on the actual activities and not enough on the pre- and post-run and that time is so crucial.
    A “food” that is a bit of a “secret” to those who weight lift and even participate in long runs: 8 oz. of chocolate milk! It provides carbs and protein, as long as it’s a 4:1 protein:carb ratio. I keep a gallon of it in my fridge for the days I come home and won’t have food ready within 45-60 min after a workout. Plus, who doesn’t love chocolate milk?! Haha

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Liz

      Wow, Chocolate milk slipped my mind totally. I used to drink lots of chocolate milk when I was younger. I think I need to stock up more of chocolate milk in my next grocery visit 🙂

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