The appetite that you work up from doing a long run can either help you or hurt you, depending on your diet. Running is half of the training process, the other half is refueling.
Avoid making the mistakes of many other runners by tweaking your diet to supply enough calories in the form of carbs,
Depending on how big you are and how intense your training is, your calorie intake could range from 2,000 per day to 5,000, according to an article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That's a huge range, and it's really important to know how many calories to eat in a day in order to properly refuel. If you're not eating enough it can affect your ability to recover from each run.
Bones and muscles need
To figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day according to your physicality, use the Livestrong.com MyPlate Calorie Tracker. Once you figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day you can figure out where those calories should come from.
Read More: Examples of a Runner's Diet
Protein, fat, and carbohydrates are all macronutrients that are important in your diet. While they're equally important to your health, they shouldn't be eaten in equal amounts.
Carbohydrates provide fuel for running. They also fuel your vital organs and are important for brain function. You burn a lot of carbs during a run, which means that you have to take care to refuel
According to an article from the NCAA, a runner should have at least 5 to 7 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight every
These carbs can come from pasta, bread, grains, vegetables and fruits. If you have a caloried sports drink after your run, it counts towards your carb total.
Protein helps you repair the muscle tissue that you damage from your runs. It's very important for recovery but you don't need nearly as much protein as carbohydrates. You can get away with 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, meaning about 15 percent of your daily calories should be from protein.
That's much less than the number of carbohydrates that you need every day. You can hit your protein requirements through solid food sources. Lean sources of protein are
Read More: Marathon Runner Diet Plan
Fat intake for a distance runner should be around 30 percent of your total caloric intake for the day, according to a 2010 research review in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Fat is different from protein and carbohydrates because it's very energy dense, providing 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbs are only 4.
Use different forms of fat that you can use to meet your fat requirements. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are considered more healthy and can have anti-inflammatory effects on your body.
Saturated fat is more unhealthy because it can cause inflammation, which hurts performance. Trans fat is the worst type of fat, which is commonly found in processed foods. It's been linked to many health problems, like heart disease, and should be avoided.
Nuts, fatty fish and avocados are excellent sources of healthy fats. Half of a fillet of salmon provides 27 grams of fat and one cup of mixed nuts gives you 72 grams.
Before your run, fuel up about two hours early with a light snack consisting of easy-to-digest carbohydrates. Avoid eating anything that can upset your stomach before your run, such as dairy and fatty or fibrous foods. Instead, stick to carb sources that are easy to digest and provide energy. This is a good time to have some fruit, like a banana.
Nutrition During the Run
During your run, try not to ingest anything that you don't normally have or that might upset your stomach. Instead, test out new products after your run or on an off day to see how they affect your stomach.
If your run only lasts an hour you can get away with just ingesting water. If you go beyond an hour, start supplementing with carbohydrates from a sports drink or energy gel. Try to get between 30 and 60 grams of carbs per hour.
After your run, your body is ready to recover and looking for nutrients. Your priority is going to be carbohydrates, once again, because your stores need to be refilled. Aim for about 60 grams of carbohydrates or one gram for every kilogram of body weight to be more exact. You can eat some solid food now that you've stopped running. A serving and a half of pasta, which is about three ounces, equals about sixty grams of carbs.
Sample Meal Plan
This sample meal plan is based on a 3,000-calorie-per-day diet. The meal plan also provides 412 grams of carbohydrates, 99 grams of fat and 119 grams of protein. This is close to the recommended 55 percent of total energy from carbs, 30 percent from fat, and fifteen from protein.
Meal One - Breakfast
- One cup of oatmeal
- Three eggs
Meal Two - Lunch
- One avocado
- Two slices of bread
- One and a half cups of rice
- Two ounces of grilled boneless, skinless, chicken breast
- Half a tablespoon of olive oil
- Half a cup of almonds
Meal Three - Pre-Workout
- One banana
Meal Four - Mid-Run
- Twenty ounces of a sports drink like Gatorade
Meal Five - Post-Run
- Two ounces of pasta
- Half a cup of tomato and basil sauce
Meal Six - Dinner
- Two cups of sweet potatoes
- Four ounces of salmon
- One cup of asparagus
- One cup of gnocchi