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Useful Nutrition Tips for Runners

The nutritional strategy during an endurance race is fundamental. It has to consider multiple factors, first of all-the satisfaction of dietary needs, practical constraints, the progressive disgust for the sweet, the digestive risks increased by the fragility of the intestinal system during exercise, the occurrence of fatigue… we have already had the opportunity to mention the importance of daily nutrition on the performance on the day of the race. Here is a practical proposal of a nutritional strategy from the week before your ordeal, considering the concept of optimization of glycogen stocks and digestive comfort according to a global logic of healthy eating.

The latest news article on running dealt with how to prevent injuries. Diet (quality and quantity) also has a significant influence on our physical condition and the positive effects of training on our body.

There is an essential difference between athletes and passive people in terms of quantitative nutritional needs. Sportspeople spend more calories and need to make up for this loss with more energy.

However, three principles apply to everyone in the same way:

  • It is essential to have a balanced diet and to eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • For energy, it is recommended to eat carbohydrates (cereals, potatoes, etc.).
  • Muscles need protein to function correctly. Proteins are found in meat, fish, milk, eggs, and soy products.

The food pyramid test tells us if our eating habits are healthy and if we need to change them. Here you will discover the foods that the body needs most in case of massive physical effort.

The diet of athletes is similar to that of people who do not participate in sports. Only their quantitative nutritional needs are different.

Before the race:

  • Do a test to find out which foods your body is best able to digest. The fundamental rule is not to experiment with new products. Otherwise, you may feel sick during the race or have stomach cramps.
  • Drink enough water the day before and the day of the race. Hydrate a little more two hours before the race.
  • Take the last meal at least three hours before the start of the race.
  • If at least an hour and a half before the race, you are still hungry, you can, for example, eat a slice of gingerbread or a banana.

During the race:

  • Don’t wait too long to quench your thirst for the first time. Drink regularly, especially when it is hot, or the race lasts more than 60 minutes.
  • As we advise you very regularly, fluid intake during the effort is to be preferred, digestive comfort and hydration being priorities to consider to optimize the quality of your race. Indeed, many runners suffer from digestive disorders during the effort, which can, unfortunately, sometimes lead to abandonment after months of preparation.
  • However, the urge to chew, especially salty foods, very often comes after several hours of running: so it is not a question of concealing this need, but instead of considering that the majority of your nutritional intake will be realized in liquid form and that solid foods will allow you to break the sickness for sugar, to please yourself “”psychologically”” while supplementing your intake, provided that these foods are digestible.

After the race

  • Compensate your body’s calorie expenditure with new energy inputs. Nutrient uptake was most useful within two hours of exercise.
  • Pamper yourself: you’ve earned it!