Food for runners

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The running practice has been growing a lot lately. It can be considered a fashion sport.

DATE: September 2021
AUTHOR: Rui Madeira | Health

But for many, to have a good performance in the race, it is not enough to run. Eating (well) is must! Something that greatly influences the performance of each one in the race will undoubtedly be food.

So RM Trainer leaves you here with some of the superfoods that, according to Denner J. 2020, if ingested in the ideal amount and at the right time, will optimize performance, strengthen the immune system and speed up the body's recovery.


This fruit rich in carbohydrates (energy!) contains a good dose of potassium (400 mg), which is especially useful for long-distance running. It also helps a lot on hot days to compensate for the loss of important minerals through sweating. In addition to counteracting this loss, as well as other minerals (sodium, magnesium and chloride), potassium also stabilizes blood pressure.


Are you a fan of morning runs? So, have oatmeal for breakfast! Rich in fiber, carbohydrates (one serving contains approximately 25g) and with a low glycemic index, oats guarantee satiety and energy for longer, and the best part: without the side effect of fatigue caused by sugar spikes, as this type of carbohydrate does. The rise in blood sugar level occurs slowly. A healthy adult should get 50% of their daily energy from carbohydrates. So, use oats to balance your menu!


But without additives (sugar, salt, oil)! Peanut butter, or butter, is a delicious source of vitamin E, the most efficient antioxidant in the world of vitamins. But… isn't peanut high in calories? It is, but it is rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are healthy fats that regulate blood cholesterol levels, strengthen the immune system and speed recovery, lowering the risk of injury. Peanuts carry good amounts of protein, excellent for supporting muscle mass growth. Spread a little peanut butter on toast or whole-grain bread or even on fruit: in pieces of banana or apple it is delicious, in addition to being a super recommended food for runners.


Full of vitamin C, which makes them a super beneficial food for those who run. Vitamin C helps reduce the risk of injury and post-workout muscle pain. It's also a good source of calcium, folic acid and vitamin K, everything you need to strengthen your bones. Here's a tip: combine broccoli with tofu, cottage cheese, salmon or some lean meat, it's great!


Yogurt is the perfect combination of carbohydrates and proteins. It has a biological value of almost 85%, that is, it contains a high percentage of essential amino acids (which cannot be synthesized by the body, which need to be obtained from food). Eating yogurt right after a run can speed up the recovery process, thus protecting your muscles. The calcium in yogurt also contributes to bone strengthening. Now, an extra benefit of this food: live lactic acid bacteria (probiotics). Probiotics are good friends of the intestinal flora, as they regulate the functioning of the intestine and thus strengthen the immune system.


Those who train regularly deserve a reward! Let's face it: chocolate is a temptation. And who said chocolate is unhealthy? Dark chocolate (70% cocoa at least), being rich in flavonoids, can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Here the important thing is not to overdo it! The portion size is decisive, 2 to 3 squares is more than enough. If eaten with a handful of nuts, they can help combat that inconvenient sleep that comes after lunch.


Do you know the “pre-test noodles”? One of the best dishes for a racer's dinner the next day. The “party of the masses”, the night before race events, is increasingly popular. These parties are a good strategy to prepare the body and soul of those who need to supply well their carbohydrate and glycogen reserves to have enough energy and keep the pace on longer runs. Whole-wheat mass has B-complex vitamins (as well as bananas) which, in addition to helping to build muscle mass, improve performance and endurance. A pasta with tomato and tuna sauce, or a less caloric version of carbonara, for example, could be a magical tool for the runner.


Potatoes are also great sources of potassium, practically the number 1 food on the top list of runners. 100g of potatoes contain ⅔ less calories than 100g of rice. Combine potatoes with chicken, salmon or egg and you have a highly flavorful and healthy dish to aid your post-workout recovery. Also, did you know that one large sweet potato can be enough to cover your entire daily vitamin A requirement? This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant, helps improve eyesight, strengthen your bones and immune system.


Science indicates that having a cup of coffee can help you get a good start on high-intensity interval workouts, run faster and reach a distance in less time. The important thing is to drink coffee without sugar. Many people still think that coffee dehydrates the body, but that's not true, coffee is a diuretic, it makes you want to pee more often. So be careful, before a marathon may not be ideal…

So, RM Trainer agrees with the idea that a runner's menu should be varied and balanced. However, what you eat, when and how much should be relatively thought out, that is, it largely depends on your own individual goals.

Eat better to run longer!