Nutrition For Runners – 3 Basic Guidelines

Do you want to reach your full potential as a runner? Do you want to feel strong and energized during and after your run?

Proper nutrition is vital to your success as a runner. Don’t neglect these basic guidelines:

1. WATER – Make sure that you are remaining hydrated throughout the day. The minimal water requirement for the average person is 64oz. I recommend at least 80oz for runners. Plan to drink during your run if you are running longer than 30 minutes. If you are running longer than an hour you will need to replace electrolytes and some carbohydrates too, so consider a sports drink for your long runs. Headaches, fatigue and dizziness may be signs of dehydration.

2. MACRONUTRIENTS – Be mindful of your carbohydrate, protein and fat intake. The quality of these macronutrients will directly affect the quality of your running. Carbohydrates are your fuel source. You need to have adequate fuel before you run and then you need to replenish these fuel stores post run too. Choose complex carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes or rice. Limit fiber in your meals leading up to your run to avoid gastrointestinal distress. Adequate protein is essential for recovery and repair. I recommend at least 70g daily. Quality protein choices include lean meat, eggs, soy, low fat dairy, whey, legumes and fish. Remember to include protein in your post run meal. Runners can follow a low fat diet, but be sure to include sources of omega fatty acids. Good fats include nuts, avocado, olive oil and salmon.

3. MICRONUTRIENTS – We all know that we should take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement, but as a runner this is non-negotiable. Runners have greater nutritional needs than the average person. In fact, runners need to take supplementation more seriously. When you run you loose minerals through sweat so supplement calcium, magnesium, iron, etc accordingly. Your body is also working hard to repair and build tissue so additional vitamins are needed to help these processes. As research continues to highlight the roles and benefits of various antioxidants, be mindful to include a variety of these in your diet. The best way is to eat a variety and fruits and vegetables every day. Runners benefit especially from all berries and also the superfruits because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

To be the best runner you can be, be aware of your nutritional needs. Eat and drink with purpose. You will feel healthier and run stronger!

Happy Running!

Brigitte Spurgeon is a Certified Running Coach and Endurance Runner in Raleigh, NC.
For more information about the cutting edge antioxidant drink recommended by Brigitte for her runners, visit

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