It’s easy enough to lace up your trainers or step on a treadmill for a run, but what about if you want to take your running hobby up a notch and really see some improvement? Diet could be more important for those gains than you give thought to. Here’s a guide to how certain foods can help give you a boost:
The foods in this section will power your runs by keeping your glycogen levels up. Why is this so important? Glycogen is the carbohydrate source your body uses as its fuel. You’ll be more efficient and will feel better using glycogen to supply your runs, rather than fats.
Oats are a great slow release energy source which can help with controlling your blood sugar. They’re also filling and are chocked full of fibre!
Not only does sweet potato taste incredible cooked in any way, but it’s also a great source of low GI carbs to keep you moving and grooving – especially good for anyone who suffers from Type 2 diabetes.
It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard that whole grains are another great carb source – that’s because they are also low GI, which is preferable thanks to it’s slow releasing energy. Mix things up and giving quinoa, brown rice or even bulgur wheat a try for your next pre-run meal.
Keep your strength up with muscle-building lean meats like chicken and turkey. If you’re a vegetarian don’t worry, nuts and legumes will also help you here.
Salmon / Oily Fish
Salmon is another great protein source with the added bonus of being an easy way to get omega-3 fats into your diet. These fats can help with inflammation, lower blood pressure and are thought to decrease the risk of heart disease.
Eggs are an all-around winner, especially for vegetarians, thanks to their versatility. Whichever way you make them (although some ways will be healthier than others!), they are full of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Scramble them, poach them, boil them... or pop them in a pancake recipe!
We might be a little bias, but a great way to start muscle recovery asap after a run is a protein shake. When mixed just with water, it’ll reach your muscles quicker and start repair. Whey Protein will be the fastest refuel you can get, but our Vegan Protein is also a speedy option that is great for anyone with intolerances or who follows a plant-based diet.
Protein-rich and containing vitamin E, peanut butter also contains fatty acids which can help expedite your post-run recovery. Make sure you choose a brand that has one ingredient: peanuts - like our pals at Pic's Peanut Butter. Pic’s.
Fruit & Nut Bar
The perfect excuse for us to mention our Neat Bars! Cold-pressed and vegan with 12g of protein per bar, our bars all made with all-natural ingredients and contain a great balance of protein, carbs & fats - perfect for avid runners.
The millennial favourite comes back into play here by being blessed with vitamins and minerals, including more potassium than bananas. They’re also thought to help stiff joints thanks to their anti-inflammatory compounds and those ‘good’-fats. We’ll take any excuse to eat more avocado on toast…
Potassium is the hero here, and although they don’t contain as much as avocados, bananas still contain a good burst of it. When running long distances, you’ll not only lose fluids from your sweat but minerals too. So, not only are bananas a convenient, quick snack after a run, they’re also great at replacing any losses.
There’s a good reason why the humble broccoli is one of our favourite greens - studies suggest that vitamin C can help with sore muscles post-workout, and broccoli is an awesome source.