Running - The Importance of Nutrition
Written by: Coach Delilah!
Now that we have the right shoes and gear, and have covered all the right steps to get a running program started, let’s talk about the most important component – nutrition!!
- IN GENERAL
As an MD, I feel strongly that a balanced diet, involving all food groups, is essential. Any fad diet is unlikely to last, and likely to result in nutritional deficiencies. As a runner, your body will need a LOT more calories than the average person. This is important for both fueling, and recovering, as we will get into down below. Also, it is so important to not deprive yourself from things you like! The term ‘everything in moderation’ seems so cliché, but it is actually so true! Have that piece of chocolate, have that glass of wine with dinner, and ENJOY it!
It’s pretty simple. To be the best runner that you can be, you must keep hydrated! Drinking water or water-based beverages (i.e. non-caffeinated electrolyte drinks, sparkling water, flavoured water, herbal teas) throughout the day will keep you at your best.
To run, you need energy. The best source of energy is carbohydrate. I recommend a carbohydrate that has a low glycemic index. Low GI carbohydrate release gradually, so that you can feel energetic and sustained throughout your run. My favourite go-to is a SoLo energy bar. They come in a variety of flavours so there is something for everyone! They are also gluten-free, and there are peanut-free options for those with allergies.
Running causes little microtears (yes tears!) in your muscles that need help to recover! The way to do that? Protein! Ingesting a protein source (10-15g) within 30 minutes after your run is essential to help prevent injury, and help your body feel ready for your next workout. SoLo bars have 10g of protein per bar, which make them a perfect option for recovery. Furthermore, their carbohydrate content also aids in replenishing carbohydrate stores – key so that you can have energy for your future runs!! Within 1-2 hours after your post run snack, plan to have a balanced meal containing protein to further aid the recovery process! Protein can come in a variety of sources: meat, yogurt, fish or nuts, to name a few.
Happy eating and running! And remember that treat! ;-)
~ Coach Delilah Topic
Photo Credit: Briana Lynne Photography https://www.instagram.com/briana.lynne