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Metabolic & Nutritional Advice For Runners
Whether you’re a professional athlete, preparing to run a mammoth marathon, or just aiming to take a light jog 3-4 times a week, it’s important to ensure your nutrition is adapted to fit your new lifestyle. It’s no surprise that an activity such as running burns off an extra 100 calories for every mile and ensuring that your diet is balanced and fuelled at the right time can aid you in losing weight, building muscle and getting fitter overall.
Whatever happens, you’re going to be performing rigorous activities which strain and test your body. The addition of protein is going to help muscle repair itself. It’s imperative to keep your protein intake high, in order to contain any muscle damage. Without protein, your muscles will weaken and your body will become damaged. Naturally, protein is more useful after your activities opposed to before and will optimise the recovery process; examples of good protein sources include meat, eggs and fish.
The importance of carbohydrates is well-documented; essentially, they release energy into your bloodstream at an appropriately quick pace to keep you running the full distance. Bagels, bananas and wholegrain bars are great snacks, and as they aren’t too heavy on fat and can keep you going on a run. Avoid sugary snacks and opt for complex carbohydrates as these will store away nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals.
The appeal of neglecting fats from your diet may seem beneficial at first, as it gives you more room to pack in the carbs and extra protein, but it’s not a good idea. Fat is a vital part of a balanced diet and for those who are exerting a great deal of energy during running, a lack of fats can slow the metabolism right down meaning that in the future, more fat will be stored from carbohydrates.
Drinking a glucose energy drink or taking glucose tablets immediately after exercise is very important. During this window straight after exercise, glucose can be absorbed quicker into the bloodstream aiding the recovery process and if you’ve chosen an energy drink, you’re also re-hydrating yourself to keep your body active and fit.
Drinking enough fluids when running is perhaps one of the most obvious, yet best, pieces of advice you can get as a runner. You’re going to become dehydrated as you exert energy and will need to keep the fluids incoming. It’s the most important nutrient in the body and most of our body is made up from it. The general aim is to consume about five litres of water during a day where you have also performed stern activities such as running.
When To Eat
Most experts will instruct you to run shortly after having breakfast and therefore giving the food enough time to digest. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be after breakfast, but it’s important to run with a full tank otherwise you’ll get caught out later. Bread or cereal accompanied by water is ideal but if you don’t wish to have a full meal, a small snack such as a banana or health-bar can work wonders. It also provides you with enough of everything else to keep you running regime on track.