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Know The Best Runner’s Diet | What Should A Food Platter For Runners Look Like – Full Details Here

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There is a huge difference between a casual runner and a professional runner. Casual running is a much less demanding task as compared to any professional running. There are multiple types of running and professional runners have to do many challenging tasks, which require a lot of energy. Hence it becomes necessary to eat a balanced diet, especially the diet designed for runners to fulfill their body demands.

In this blog, we will look at the food and diet plans for runners and what to eat before and after running

What is the difference between running and jogging?

runners diet
Image Source- runnersworld.com
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The set of activities performed in running and jogging are quite similar, but there is a significant difference in the intensity and speed of the activities. Running requires a higher level of overall fitness than jogging.

Running is much faster and much more intense as compared to jogging. It uses more kilojoules, and demands more effort from the heart, higher lungs capacity, and muscles than jogging. 

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Running is mostly a professional activity that is practiced day in and day out to win a certain competition while the main motive of jogging is to be in good health and shape.

READ | How to Run Like A Pro | Running Guide for Beginners 

Basics of runner’s diet plan

In general, a higher amount of carbohydrates, and a protein-rich diet including fruits and vegetables is non-negotiable. Also, a runner must have a higher consumption of calories, otherwise, he or she might lose muscles, which will affect the strength of the body negatively.

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So eating healthy food with higher carbs, higher protein, and a balanced calorie intake, are all the basics of a diet plan for runners.

Diving deep into a runner’s diet plan

So as discussed earlier, a runner should consume food with high carbs, and higher protein and should not let calories consumed go below the value of calories burned. Fruits are one of the easy ways to keep tabs on all these needs.

Micronutrients in runner’s diet plan

Carbohydrates

runners diet- KreedOn

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For a runner, carbs should make around 45-65% of the micronutrients consumed.

Following are the food items with high carb content:-

  • Brown rice.
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Oats.
  • Bananas.
  • Fruits.
  • Beans.
  • Yogurt.
  • Raisins.
  • Jaggery.
  • Honey.
  • Sugar.

Essential Protein in runner’s diet

Image Source- The Indian Express

A runner’s diet should make around 10-35% off from the protein.

Following are the food items with high protein content:-

  • Cereals: Wheat germ, rice bran, oats, wheat flour, bajra, barley, etc.
  • Pulses and Legumes: Soya bean, Kesari dal, lentil, moong dal, green gram, rajma, etc.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pine nuts, brazil nuts, etc.
  • Seeds: Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Dairy products: Skimmed milk, whole milk, paneer, khoa, etc.
  • Fruits: Guava, avocado, jackfruit, apricots, kiwifruit, blackberries, etc.
  • Vegetables: Rape leaves (dry), colocasia leaves, water chestnut, Bengal gram leaves, etc.
  • Meat products: Chicken, egg, fish, goat meat, etc.
READ | Do you know how to build muscle at home | Step by step guide 

Fats in runner’s diet

Image Source- Dr. Kiltz

Almost all of us see fat as a nemesis of a healthy lifestyle. Too much fat consumption is not recommended, but the same goes for too much protein and carbs. Anything consumed or used in excess is always harmful.

Then how are fats useful for a runner?

Stored body fat is an important source of energy for endurance exercise. While running long distances, your body needs a backup source of fuel and that’s where fats come into the picture. Not to mention, it is necessary to eat healthy foods to get fats.

If you have a balanced diet through homemade food and if you are disciplined enough about not consuming fast food frequently, then fats can be managed automatically.

But if you feel you need more healthy fats, the following are the healthy food items that can be consumed to make around 20-35% of the total micronutrients.

  • Walnuts.
  • Olive oil.
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Cheese.
  • Egg Yolks.
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil.
  • Dairy.
  • Buttering.

Foods to increase stamina for running

Image Source- physiqueglobal.com

A runner can increase stamina with each day of practice and training. Along with running, it is important to strengthen your muscles through weight training. So to do all these activities, you again need stamina and endurance.

Hence to improve stamina and endurance, the following food items must be included in runner’s diet:

  • Brown rice.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish.
  • Green leafy vegetables.
  • Banana.
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Almonds.

What to eat before running?

It is never easy to strike a balance between eating energy-rich food and at the same time not having extra fat content before running.

Runner’s diet diet must include higher fat and protein-rich food before running. Again, all these meals should be done at least 1-2 hours before running. A runner can eat any fruit just before the long run. Banana is the best option as it contains negligible fat and a high amount of carbohydrates.

What to eat during running?

Image Source- Runner’s World

If a runner has consumed enough carbs and protein before running, then for most of the running, he does not need to worry about the food, except for water. Water is essential part of runner’s diet as it is important to keep you and your muscles hydrated.

If someone is running for 1 to 2.5 hours, they should aim to consume 30–60 grams of carbs per hour.

What to eat after running?

After running a runner will feel exhausted and that’s why a meal after running is very important. A runner’s diet must include protein and carbs-rich food items in the meal. Along with water, you can drink sports drinks to replenish the fluid level in the body.

Conclusion

For any activity, you need fuel in your body and that fuel comes from the food you eat. For any athlete, food is extremely important. It doesn’t matter how much you work out, if your diet is not good enough, all the efforts and hard work will go in vain. Hence it is very important to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Runner’s diet is not an exception. So eat carbs, protein, and fats adequately, drink water frequently and avoid junk food, and fast food. If you follow this, nothing will stop you from being a top-class runner.

READ | Top 12 Best Lightweight Shoes for Running in India

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Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh’s love for Test cricket has no limits. He indulges himself in listening to experts talking about Test cricket. Saurabh absolutely loves the way Aussies play the game. He is quite new to football, but football fever has taken complete control of him. He is an ardent Bayern Munich fan. Saurabh loves to write about sports. Other than sports, he is a voracious reader, a fitness freak, loves physics, loves to stay away from social media, and a Mechanical Engineer too!

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