Happy Wednesday friends!
We’ve made it halfway through the week. Hooray!
It’s been a while since I talked about the carbohydrate and protein requirements for runners and wanted to build on that by talking about what we, as runners, should eat before and after in order to best fuel our bodies.
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian, nor do I have a degree in nutrition. However, I have two coaching certifications and educate myself as best as I can on science-based nutrition principles. If you have any questions, I suggest contacting your doctor or a registered dietitian (I recommend Jen, Emma, and Sam).
Nutrition Requirements for Runners
The main fuel while running is glycogen, and glycogen comes from carbohydrates, so the best fuel for your body before a run is some type of easily digestible carbohydrate.
I personally prefer a plain bagel, or two Eggo waffles, with peanut butter before a race or a long run. Now, I will admit that adding in the fat and protein from the PB can be a bit of a risk, but I’ve never had any GI problems as a result (except now that I type this my stomach will likely revolt at my next race!) but I highly recommend trying this out before a long run, and not on race day.
When I have a longer run after work, I’ll be sure to have an afternoon snack (anything from an orange to a protein bar) and will then have some Vega Pre-Workout Energizer or Clean Energy before a workout to help give a boost past the mid-afternoon slump.
I know that fat adaptation is also something more and more runners have started looking into and experimenting with, but since I haven’t tried it myself, I’m going to stick with the conventional approach here 🙂
Depending on the length of your race, or workout, you may or may not need to take in fuel during the event.
Again, I highly recommend experimenting with fueling many, many weeks before race day 😉
For any race longer than I 10k I will carry fuel with me.
The recommendation is to consume 30g-60g of carbohydrates per hour.
During a half marathon, I consume one Gu at 45 minutes and the second Gu at 90 minutes, which is a total of 45g of carbohydrates for the race, so I might be slightly underfueling; however, I’ve never felt like I needed more, so this might be right for me.
There are numerous fuel sources out there for runners including gels, chews, drinks, and even real food. Of the options, one is not better than the next, it really comes down to what works best for you.
Refueling after a workout is extremely important, and is something I will definitely neglect.
For a shorter workout, you likely don’t need anything more than water, possibly some electrolytes (I like nuun), and some real food. The recommendation is to consume a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, which can easily be accomplished by having bread with cheese, bread with peanut butter, a tuna sandwich, etc. It doesn’t need to be complicated 😉
After a longer run or a hard workout, I will probably have a protein shake with Vega Performance Protein before I shower, and then real food after my shower. Since our bodies are only able to synthesize 20g-40g of protein at a time, I don’t feel like I need to make protein a significant factor in my recovery meal if I’ve had a protein shake.
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Tell me your favourite pre and post workout fuels!
Linking up for Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Fitful Focus.
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