Nutrition For Runners – By Michelle North, Registered Dietitian
Fueling yourself before and after is crucial for your performance. Though it can be hard to know what to eat and drink, and when. Follow these general guidelines for your next run.
Before a run:
2-3 hours before a run- have a meal containing complex carbohydrates and a small to moderate amount of protein. Such as, steel cut oats with milk and fruit, whole grain bagel with peanut butter and a banana. Also make sure to hydrate before your run! Have at least 1-2 cups of fluid.
30-60 minutes before a run:
Choose a low-fibre carbohydrate-based snack like a banana, toast with jam or honey, low fibre cereal, or an energy bar. Continue to hydrate with water!
During your run:
If the duration of your run is less than 1 hour, you likely do not need to refuel.
For every hour, after the first hour, you should refuel with 30-60 g of fast acting carbohydrate. If you are engaging in endurance exercise for >2.5 hours you may require up to 90g of carbohydrate per hour. Try energy gels, sports drinks, or a sports bar.
It is important to replace glycogen stores after a long run, so include a post-recovery meal containing carbohydrate and a moderate amount of protein for muscle repair. Both carbohydrates and protein are essential to good recovery. Do not forget to rehydrate! Some examples are eggs & toast with a side of vegetables, baked sweet potato topped with black beans, protein shake, greek yogurt with berries and granola, or pasta with meatballs.
**Please note the length and intensity will impact your nutritional requirements before, during and after a run. For individualized recommendations, see our Registered Dietitian, Michelle North!