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Nutrition for Runners: Tips to Stay Healthy

Importance on proper nutrition for runners cannot be stressed upon enough. Running is an extraneous activity which means if you are going to slack on nutrition and diet then you are exposing your body to an endless list of problems. Proper nutrition means you will run faster and your body’s endurance and recovering power will increase substantially. A good nutritious diet is vital to produce good results on the marathon day. Think of your body as a car that needs to go on this long journey, would you not add enough fuel to it to complete its journey? Similarly, your body needs “fuel” on the big day and if it falls short of it, it won’t take you far.

The Role of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the most important nutrient and most runners base their diet around it. Carbs provide energy to your body.  Carbs affects the intensity of your activity as well as the time period for which it is carried out. Most dieticians suggest a 60-70% intake of carbs in everyday meals before the marathon.

The Importance of Proteins

Proteins are very important too as they are responsible for fluid regulation, production of hormones and enzymes and repair of cells. They enable your muscles to repair. In fact, during your training you need to include on 10-15% of protein calories in your diet regime.

The Efficiency of Fats 

Some athletes unnecessarily avoid fats but the fact is that the recommended fat amount for runners is 20-30%. While carbs do a great job in providing you energy, for long distances they might not be enough. The fats provide us with essential fatty acids, essential fat soluble vitamins and energy to our body.

Foods that Must Be Incorporated

Following is a list of foods that must be incorporated in their strict diets for an improved nutrition for runners in marathons.


After breast milk eggs are the most complete protein. They satisfy up to 10% of one’s daily protein needs. The amino acids present in eggs boost the muscle recovery. Eggs pack nutrients like vitamin K, choline and lutein.


Salmon is a marvelous source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon boosts brain development and function and helps balance body’s inflammation response. It helps combat the post run joint aches.

Whole Wheat Bread and Pasta

Whole grain pasta and bread are a good method for fulfilling the carbohydrate intake. But make sure you gorge on only the most premium quality 100% whole grain foods so that you can prevent your body from having to endure preservatives and flour. Whole grain foods reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and helps reduce weight. They help maximize muscle glycogen levels in your body.


Beans are high in protein and fiber. They pack plenty of nutrients like folate, anti-oxidants, iron and vitamin B. they are also low in fat. They are low glycemic index meaning they do not allow the carbs to quickly release into the body.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carbs. Sweet potatoes are an amazing source of vitamin A, vitamin C, Potassium and iron. They also contain a small amount of mineral manganese and copper. These two minerals improve muscle function hence important for runners.


Many runners take a good amount of bananas in their daily diets. Primarily because they are an excellent source of carbohydrates. The potassium in the bananas assists in regulating the muscle contraction and prevents muscle cramping, a common problem among beginners. When you sweat you lose potassium which bananas can help replenish.

Peanut Butter

Yes, you read it right! Who says healthy foods are always boring and bland. Peanut butter contains protein as well as fiber. The protein helps your body to recover whereas fiber makes you feel fuller thus enabling weight loss as well.

Green tea

Green tea is not just a tasty hot beverage. It contains catechin (a class of antioxidants). Recent researches have shown that green tea helps burn fats and increases muscle endurance. It also helps in hydrating your body.


Cherries contain a huge amount of antioxidants especially a kind namely anthocyanin. Intake of cherries in form of fruit or juice helps decrease muscle soreness and loss of strength.About the author: John M. Caviness is a copywriter at MeowEssay. Besides, he spends his time training dogs. Moreover, John is a volunteer at some puppy mills. In this case, he has an opportunity to help animals feel more comfortable there.