Whether you are a beginner or an athlete, what you eat and drink can impact your ability to run long distances.
Your body relies on the nutrients from food and drinks to have endurance, balance water levels and reduce injury and fatigue. If you are thinking about running more than 10km, have a read of our nutrition tips from our dietitian!
Before your run
- For longer runs (over 20km), having carbohydrate-rich meals in the 24-48 hours before your run can help to increase glycogen stores (our body’s carbohydrate storage) and prevent getting tired quickly
- Low fibre foods or liquid foods before your run can prevent stomach discomfort or cramps. Aim to have a meal 3-4 hours before the event or if it’s early in the day, a snack 1-2 hours before. Experimenting what works for you and the timing of meals is important; you may be better running on an empty stomach but having some food/drinks beforehand will top up your glycogen and hydration.
- Food ideas: milk and a muesli bar; crumpets with banana and honey; peanut butter on toast
- Check out this Vanilla Ricotta, Banana and Coconut Toast Hopper recipe
During your run
- Keeping up fluids prevents you from getting dehydrated. The amount you need will vary depending on how long you run for and the weather (in hotter weather, you will sweat more and will need more fluid).
- Again, for longer runs, having a carbohydrate boost about one hour into your run can help to keep your pace up and your concentration high. Having a sports gel or chew or a carbohydrate-rich drink can support this.
After your run
- Following your run, recovery and repair is the priority. Having a protein-rich meal and plenty of fluids rebuilds your muscles and rehydrates you.
- If you want to go that extra step further, having healthy fats in your meal after a run can reduce inflammation!
- Food ideas: yoghurt with muesli with nuts and fresh fruit, canned fish, avocado and salad sandwich, poached eggs on toast with a side of veggies
- Planning to go on another run later the same day? Keep up the carbohydrates!
For more information, visit sportdietitians.com.au