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Fuel your run the right way
Not sure what nutrition you need before you head off on that run or after your first big race? Here’s some advice…
Got An Hour Run?
According to Susan Bowerman, assistant director of UCLA Centre for Human Nutrition, if you’re going to run for an hour, you should fuel up with a healthy 600-kilojoule high-carb snack like a banana.
READ MORE: What You Should Eat And Drink During A Race
Do the Pee Test
Bowerman also suggests that a couple hours before your run, you drink about one and a half cups of water (350ml). If you find your urine is the shade of apple juice or darker, drink another 350ml. If you’ll be working out longer than 60 minutes, make sure you drink every hour. Be careful, as it’s easy to get dehydrated if you wait too long. And don’t drink too much!
Feeling Low on Energy?
If your energy tends to be low on long runs, a small taste of glucose can jolt your brain into performance mode, research shows. Eat or drink 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour. A PowerGel has about 27 grams for example.
Don’t Run After Lunch!
Consider giving yourself two hours after a full meal before heading out for a long or hard run, according to Bowerman. It takes about that long for blood to reroute to your working muscles from your digestive system.
Your Daily Dose
Your daily diet can have a big impact on your run. Focus on fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats from nuts and avocado, and lean protein. Fruit and veggies are also high in antioxidants, which aid recovery.
What To Eat Pre-Race?
According to Runner’s World the most important consideration pre-race is eating food that you are accustomed to. Good choices are a slice of toast with peanut butter, energy bars made specifically for a pre-run meal so they contain easily digested carbohydrates and some protein. And if you’re not a toast person, The Paleo Diet for Athletes recommends boiled or scrambled eggs with fruit that’s low in fibre, such as bananas and watermelon pre-race.
Within an hour after your run, grab a snack with a four-to-one ratio of carbs to protein (chocolate milk is a good option). This balance jump-starts the repair process. If you’re not doing dairy then think almond butter on rye or even a fruit smoothie.