Found on RunnersWorld
Running requires a mindful approach to food, since everything we drink and eat has a direct impact on our performance and even our enjoy- ment of the sport: It’s hard to love being a runner when you’re bonking. So we compiled the best advice on how to fuel your runs—including the finest energy sources, smartest hydration strategies, ideal timing Follow these winning strategies to help you eat and drink your way to a peak performance
1 EAT REAL FOOD Convenience foods have their place: Energy chews during a run or a bottled smoothie afterward provide fast, nutritious fuel. But the bulk of a runner’s diet should consist of whole foods. Fish, chicken, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, low-fat dairy, fruit—these healthy staples provide more nutritional value than highly processed options. Plus, preparing meals from real-food sources gives you more control over your sodium, fat, and calorie intake.
2 CHOOSE QUALITY CARBS Because they fuel workouts and nourish spent muscles, carbs should be the backbone of a runner’s diet. But some carbs deliver greater value than others. Make most of your carbs whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. And remember: The less processing a plant receives, the more nutritious it is (think potatoes, not potato chips).
3 WRITE IT DOWN Write down everything you eat and drink for several days to evaluate your eating habits. Are you snacking more than you realize? Reaching for sweets too often? Keep a ledger to identify areas where there’s room for improvement.
4 INDULGE ON OCCASION Allow yourself the occasional dessert or cocktail to satisfy cravings and keep those urges from becoming binges. Just keep an eye on portions and frequency.
5 DRINK DELIBERATELY Fluids are an essential part of any runner’s fueling plan: By staying hydrated, you’ll boost performance and minimize nuisances like GI distress. But watch the calories: Drinks that are high in sugar can contribute to weight gain. Limit fruit juice, pass on soft drinks, and switch your morning mocha to a cup of tea or coffee.