The runner’s nutrition
For those who wish to read the principles in brief, go to our summary at the end of the article.
Hydration, is key !
We often talk about nutrition in regards to training, but we do not focus enough on the essential aspect of proper hydration. Drinking enough before, during and after the effort allows the body optimal recovery. In addition, it avoids occasional inconveniences such as cramps, lack of energy and headaches. Other health problems are also prevented by properly disposing of waste and toxins. A good hydration has beneficial effects on your athletic performance.
Sportsmen, sportsmen... to your water bottles !
HYDRATION BEFORE TRAINING
Hydration before training minimize the risk of symptoms related to dehydration and helps having a more effective training.
How do I know if I am hydrated enough ?
You have to check the quantity and the color of your daily urination. If you urinate in large amounts several times a day and the color of the liquid is light yellow, you are probably well hydrated.
HYDRATION DURING TRAINING
Drink approximately 4-5 ounces (100 ml) of water every 20 minutes during physical activity. It is best not to wait until you are thirsty before drinking, since this signal indicates that the dehydration process is already under way. The best is to keep a steady rate of hydration by drinking small amounts frequently.
However, in the context of intense exercise sequences like a series of 50 Burpees, it is best to wait until the end of the exercise before drinking. In some cases, this could lead to symptoms of nausea.
Sports drinks, ... do I really need them ?
For workouts longer than 60 minutes, very demanding, an electrolyte-enriched drink is suggested. It helps recover the minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the body, which are eliminated by perspiration and urine. There are several electrolyte-based drinks on the market, look for an option with no added sugar. If electrolyte mixtures are good supplements, they should never replace water, which must always be the main source of hydration.
HYDRATIONG AFTER TRAINING
In the 30 minutes following the physical effort, it is suggested to drink 500 ml of water (2 cups). Subsequently, a glass of water is suggested every 15 minutes to reach 2.5L to 3L of water.
Another method is to drink 500 ml (2 cups) per pound lost. If you do not weigh yourself consistently before and after each workout, gradually go with 500 ml to begin and drink regularly until your urination is clear and plentiful.
In general, athletes of all kinds must maintain a healthy diet, rich in carbohydrates, protein and fat to perform well. The "when" and the "what" to eat become important to help the performance and ensure a good recovery of the body. Proper nutrition will help you avoid energy drops and allow you to lead the effort to reach your goals.
FOOD BEFORE RUNNING
Here we need to fuel up on energy! 30 to 60 minutes before training, go for a snack rich in carbohydrates, low in fat and reduced in fiber, which will be more digestible.
1 fruit and vegetables cold-pressed juice (pasteurized juice is avoided);
1 applesauce without added sugar;
1 fruit (apple, pear ...);
¼ cup of dried fruit.
1:30 to 2 hours before the workout, opt for a high carbohydrate snack containing fiber and a sufficient source of protein.
Banana and Greek yogurt;
Berries and cottage cheese;
Dried fruits and pumpkin seeds;
Crackers and canned tuna.
FOOD DURING TRAINING
For an exercise session of less than 60 minutes, drinking water is sufficient. However, be sure to eat at the end of your workout by following the tips below.
FOOD AFTER TRAINING
It is suggested to eat 30 to 60 minutes following a race since the muscles are better equipped to absorb nutrients and proteins in order to recharge their reserves and rebuild the damaged muscle fibers.
Some suggestions for post-workout snacks:
Greek plain yogurt with fruits and honey;
Dates with nut butter;
Banana with peanut butter;
Smoothie with Greek yogurt, banana, frozen fruits and green vegetables (spinach, kale, watercress, lettuce);
Avocado on toast and eggs;
Wrap with egg or turkey and green vegetables;
Apple and nuts.
If you have difficulty eating after a workout, be aware that this step is important for optimal recovery and prepare your body for the next race or training.
Choco-Banana Smoothie SMOOTHIE POST-COURSE RECIPE
1 cup of plain and unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoon of cocoa powder
½ banana ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
¼ cup of natural Greek yogurt
Put all the ingredients in a blender and grind.
Nutritional information per 500 ml serving:
Calorie: 278 Carbohydrates: 42.3g
Sugars: 19.6g Fat: 5.2g Protein: 17.7g
"SNACKS OR MEALS TAKEN AFTER PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SHOULD IDEALLY CONTAIN A COMBINATION OF CARBOHYDRATES AND PROTEINS IN A RATIO OF 2: 1 OR 3: 1 (CARBOHYDRATES: PROTEINS). "
You have to be hydrated before, during and after a race or other physical exercise.
30-60 minutes before training: Eat a light snack made of carbohydrates. Go for a fruit, a cold-pressed juice or dried fruits.
During training: For training shorter than 60 minutes, just drinking a few sips every 20 minutes is enough.
After training: Within 30 to 60 minutes of training, having a snack or a small meal is important for muscle repair, re-stocking for future workouts and avoiding a drop in energy. Go for a snack that includes carbohydrates and protein, such as a smoothie with Greek yogurt, tuna with crackers or walnut butter with dates.