Nutrition and the roles it can play in enhancing exercise (running) performance is a vital part of a runner’s training regimen. I really started to notice a difference in my performance as a runner when I started to play closer attention to my recovery nutrition. Once, I broke down what most runner’s will need after a workout (carbs, protein, fluid), and focused on consuming those nutrients, I really noticed a huge difference in my recovery. I was able to recovery faster which helped me put honest efforts towards the remaining workouts in the week.
As with recovery, general day-to-day nutrition can really help put you over edge. The least it will do is provide a sense of relief. You can go into workouts knowing you’re fueled, hydrated, and have the necessary items in place to recover.
Its very easy to get lost in the ample amount of information out there on nutrition for runners. And with those articles, reviews, you can miss out on the basic fundamentals that make each of us a better runner. Follow the three keys below to enhance your nutrition during training!
- Balance – as mentioned earlier, there is tons of right and wrong info out there on what the best nutrition strategy is for runners. Whether you follow a vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or a normal lifestyle (in reference to nutrition), balance is absolutely key. Eating too many carbs, protein, or fats can mess up key functions of the human body. Your body needs carbs, fats, and protein to ensure your brain is healthy, to ensure your muscles and bones have the nutrients they need, to ensure you’re eating enough of each food group.
- Variety – many runners ask me if they should take a multi-vitamin. I often tell them, ideally it’d be nice if they could get all of the vitamin and minerals through food. However, that’s not always easy, or practical with how busy your lives can get. Regardless, of your opinion on taking a multi-vitamin supplement, variety in your daily food intake can help ensure you’re consuming all different types of vitamin and minerals with your meal. Consuming fruits and vegetables in a wide array of colors can help get a nice balance of vitamins and minerals that are crucial for runners.
- Hydrate – yes, I’m blogging about hydrating…. again. Its one of the easiest ways to ensure your muscles will function properly before heading out for a run. Consuming water during meals can also help the nutrients you are consuming absorb faster.