It is crucial for a runner to stay on an appropriate and good diet plan. Although, the description of a “good diet” varies based on the activity you choose and how often you perform it. Running is no exclusion to this.There are several schools of thought that provides recommendations on the best diet that is most beneficial for runners. And the diet you decide on will depend a lot on your running goals too.
Generally, long distance runners just like those who run marathons and ultra marathons have a need for higher amount of carbohydrates than a runner who merely goes short distances. So once you have determine what type of diet plan you are comfortable with, you need to consider as well the intensity of your running training and your running goals. Failure to eat enough calories can in fact result in injuries and can affect your overall running performance.
Here are some diet and nutrition guidelines that you can consider.
The Value of Carbohydrates to Runners
Carbohydrates are very vital for the performance of runners, particularly for those who regularly run long distances. The body converts carbohydrates into glycogen which is kept in the muscles and used for fuel during running. However, after a while, those glycogen supplies get exhausted. That is why it is vital for runners to consume a good quantity of carbohydrates. When running long distances, it is also a good idea to grab along something that is high in simple carbohydrates, including sports drinks and gels. After the glycogen in your body is depleted, you will need to restore it with extra carbs.
Carbohydrates Requirements of Runners
A normal diet must compose of 40% carbohydrates. However, for runners, the figure must be anywhere from 60 to 65%, this is because carbohydrates are a excellent supply of energy. Sodas and candies give carbohydrates, only theirs is the so-called simple carbohydrates or those that give out energy for a short a period of time. What the runners need are complex carbohydrates as these yield energy for long-term use. They can come from pastas, rice, breads, potatoes, and grains. Runners are suggested to take at least three grams of carbohydrates for every pound of body weight everyday. So a 120-pound runner ought to have 360 grams of carbohydrates every day.
Fats should make up 20 to 25% of the diet. Runners should take their fat requirements generally from mono-unsaturated fats, or those that are liquid in form, as they are believed to meet sports nutritional requirements successfully. Natural oils are good sources of mono-unsaturated fats. Foods with saturated and poly-unsaturated fats, such as red meats, butter, and margarine, are also good, but they ought to be taken in very minimal amounts. Foods with omega-3, an essential fat, must be also incorporated in the runner’s diet.
To enhance muscle stamina, runners are suggested to take 0.5 to 0.75 gram of protein for every pound of body weight daily. Proteins are not only a reliable source of energy, they also help out in muscle growth and repair of broken muscles. Protein, which ought to be 15 to 20% of a runner’s diet, can be acquired from nuts, eggs, fish, beans, grains, and low-fat dairy products.
Vitamins and Minerals
Latest reports pointed out that a runner’s diet must have the vitamins A, C, and E. All three have antioxidant components that can clear of free radicals. Calcium, which strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis, and iron, which helps in the delivery of oxygen to all areas of the body, ought to also be included in the diet. Although most of these vitamins and minerals are obtained from supplements, foods are still the suggested source.
Runners sweat a lot. As soon as this happens, beneficial minerals are lost which is potassium. The term “electrolytes” refers to the balance in your body between sodium and potassium. A deficiency in potassium can result in problems similar to muscle cramping, that can affect your running.It is vital to substitute these electrolytes while running. Sports drink is a valuable product to have on hand. Drink a bottle just about an hour prior to each run and try to sip on it whilst running. It also makes a great after run drink. The sooner you replace lost carbohydrates and electrolytes, the easier it will be for your body to recover instantly from your run. Sports gels are also a good alternative to sports drink, simply make sure you drink water with it.
Enough Fluid Intake
Dehydration can be a immense hindrance for runners, particularly when running in hotter temperatures. Not drinking enough water all through the day and during a long run can be hazardous. Dehydration is a major condition and one that can land you in the hospital. To prevent it, sip water right through the day and before and during your runs. You may also want to consume several sports drink to help restore electrolytes.
The next thing to be concerned about with regards to individuals who are into running are calories. There are critical rules on the quantity of calories an individual must use on a regular basis. These are based on the person’s recent weight and activity level. For runners who are keen on intense training, these might not be very true. There are plenty of calorie calculators existing online or you can get seek advice from your doctor.
Sample Calorie Scale
An illustration would be a runner frequently consuming 2,500 calories a day and running about 7 to 8 miles daily. If he still feels worn-out, he may have to increase his calorie consumption. If the runner is already at an ideal weight, he ought to attempt to take as much as necessary calories to maintain his weight.
Finally, the quality of the calories consumed must also be painstakingly considered. They have to come from outstanding sources such as whole grains carbohydrates, lean protein sources, and heart-healthy fats.
Keep a Running Diary, Record Your Progress and Learn What Works For You
When you run for a while, you will start to identify what works for you. Most runners develop their own pre-run and post-run rituals in time. They also find that they crave certain foods that they should, like bread and pasta.The critical thing to do is listen to your body.
Consider the outline guidelines but also bear in mind to adapt them to your own requirements and lifestyle. Once you do this, you will observe that you feel much stronger and possess a lot more energy. Remember that diet and nutrition is a very vital factor in such an activity as running. It is not just a matter of energy but also of healthiness.
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