4 Nutrition Habits of Successful Runners
Melissa Kazan is a Registered Dietitian and Sport Nutritionist specializing in nutrition for health, well-being and sports performance. Melissa understands today's challenges to eating well, and works with her clients to set realistic health & sport performance goals. For more information on Melissa, and her services, click here
1. CARBS ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS…and protein too!
Don’t expect to run faster if you’re skipping on carbohydrate rich foods. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, starchy vegetables and fruits are excellent choices that will keep you fueled on a training day, while minimizing risk of injury. Proteins like lean meats, beans and dairy are just as important in controlling your appetite and preventing energy dips mid-day. Aim to have at least one carbohydrate and one protein rich food at each meal.
2. CARRY AN EMERGENCY SNACK WHEREVER YOU GO
Even if you’re leaving the house for a short few hours, pack an emergency snack in case hunger kicks in. Easy energy-dense portable snacks can be nut bars, trail mix or a homemade muffin, and will keep you satisfied between meals.
If you want to save yourself from getting hangry, start running to the kitchen immediately after your run/walk. Doing so, combined with balanced protein and carbs, will ensure speedy recovery allowing for faster muscle repair. A chicken sandwich, granola & yogurt, or peanut butter toast are all excellent recovery foods. Don't have much appetite after a run? Liquids like chocolate milk or a homemade smoothie are easier to digest, and are a great carb/protein combination!
4. GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP
It’s no surprise that when you're tired, running feels like a chore. Poor sleep can weaken your immune system, decrease your performance, and affect your post-run recovery. This means, you’ll increase your chances of catching a cold or getting injured, and you’ll soon be running to the doctor! The good news is, if you don’t get a restful night sleep, taking naps during the day is beneficial in keeping your overall sleep quality.