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Nutrition and Running

by Dan Hinckley » on Apr 08, 2013 0

Most every runner knows that the right nutrition is one of the most important pars of training. If you don’t eat enough before a run, you won’t have the energy to finish, and eating too much can lead to bad cramping. Nutritional needs even extend after a run when our bodies need to rest and recovery. The key word here being recovery. We use up our stores of energy when we run and they need to be replenished. But how much and when should you eat? Experts say it all depends on what type of run you are engaging in, and your size.

For easy workout runs (30 – 45 minutes) just be sure to eat your next meal within an hour or two and be sure not to skip it. Skipping a meal after running can make you really tired all day, make you crave sugar (which can undo all your hard work), and can even lead to sickness or injury.
Runs lasting more than an hour call for a slightly different approach. Most experts will tell you that it’s essential to eat within 30 minutes of running. This can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. As far as what to eat, scientists have found that a ratio of 4-to-1 carbs to protein is best. Low-fat chocolate milk is a great after-run snack. For really long runs, anti- inflammatory foods like avocado and walnuts are a good choice.

After the initial snack, it’s recommended that you eat a full meal after a few hours and continue snacking every 2 hours for the rest of the day. Just be careful what you put back in your tank. I’m not saying you should avoid all restaurants and anything with tons of flavor, but if you do go out to eat, do what I do. One of my favorite restaurants in all of Texas is Tim Love’s Woodshed Smokehouse. I just ask the chef to change up his dishes to fit my nutritional needs, and they’re more than happy to do it. So eat well, and keep running!

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