Must have food for runners

A good race depends on more than just your training. To improve your speed and performance, you also need to consider what you are putting into your body. The right foods at the right time can boost your running performance tremendously. Plus, you will reduce the risk of injury and illness. Runners by and large understand that food is fuel. They know that for energy and power and sustenance, they need calories and carbohydrates and protein. But that doesn't mean they are the patron saints of nutrition.

Are you eating the foods you should be for energy, recovery, and fitness? Here's our list for must have food for runners.

  1. Whole Grains
    Whole grains in general are higher in fiber than white breads and pastas, so they'll help you maintain a healthy gut. Just make sure to eat your most fibrous meals after you're done working out for the day, since fiber is harder to digest.
  2. Bananas
    If you need a high-carb energy booster before your afternoon run, you can't go wrong with a banana. This fruit also contains a healthy dose of potassium (about 400 mg). This is especially important for long-distance runs or in hot temperatures when you are likely to sweat a lot and thus lose valuable minerals. Potassium (as well as other minerals like sodium, magnesium and chloride) compensates for this loss and lowers your blood pressure at the same time.
  3. Eggs
    When it comes to protein, eggs reign supreme. A single, large hard-boiled delight packs 6 grams of protein, plus additional nutrients you won't get from any other protein. One of those is choline, an often-overlooked B vitamin. It plays a role in a key neurotransmitter in the brain that the body needs every single time you move, let alone run.
  4. Plain yogurt
    Yogurt is the perfect combination of carbohydrates and proteins. It has a biological value of nearly 85 %, meaning that it has a high percentage of essential amino acids (which cannot be synthesized by the body and so must be obtained through food). Consumed right after a run, it can speed up your recovery and thus protect your muscles. The calcium contained within also strengthens your bones.
  5. Almonds
    Almonds are great sources of "healthy, high-performance fats". Almonds have the benefit of boasting a significant dose of vitamin E, important to runners for its immune-boosting powers.
  6. Coffee
    Studies have shown that a cup of coffee can give your high-intensity interval training a boost. The caffeine contained within helps you run faster and cover your training distance in less time. The important thing is that you drink black coffee - without milk and sugar. Many people still think that coffee dehydrates your body, but this isn't true. What coffee does do is increase your urine output, meaning that you might have to go to the toilet more often than usual.
  7. Broccoli
    This green vegetable is full of vitamin C. According to studies, this can help reduce the risk of, or even prevent sore muscles after intense workouts. Broccoli is also a good source of calcium, folic acid and vitamin K, which strengthen our bones.

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