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Good nutrition is an important part of running your best. A diet rich with necessary nutrients won’t make you faster, but it will help you stay healthy enough to train. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein are macronutrients that provide the energy not only to fuel your running but also for basic processes. Vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients because they’re needed in smaller amounts.
Focus on a balanced diet that meets all your nutrient needs. That’s better for both performance there’s no magical nutrient that’s the “secret” to running faster and for health. Your body works best supplied with the right amount of all nutrients. As a runner, carbohydrates should make up about 60 – 65% of your total calorie intake. Carbs are the best source of energy for athletes. Research has shown that for both quick and long-lasting energy, our bodies work more efficiently with carbs than they do with proteins or fats. Carbs such as whole grain pasta, boiled rice, potatoes, fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grain bread are good carb sources. Alongside carbs, there is protein. Protein is used for some energy and to repair tissue damaged during training.
In addition to being an essential nutrient, protein keeps you feeling full longer, which helps if you’re trying to lose weight. Runners should consume .5 to .75 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Also, you should aim to concentrate on protein sources that are low in fat and cholesterol such as lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, and beans. Protein should make up about 15% – 20% of your daily intake. A high fat diet can make you gain weight quick, so try to make sure that no more than 20 – 25% of your total diet comes from fats. Stick to foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Foods such as nuts, oils, and fish provide essential fats called omega-3s, which are for good health and can help prevent certain diseases.
Alongside these three, there are also vitamins and minerals. Runners don’t get energy from vitamins, but they are still an important part of their diet. Getting your vitamins from whole foods is best when compared to supplementation; there’s no huge evidence that taking supplements improves either health or athletic performance better than from whole foods. Minerals such as Sodium, Calcium, and Iron are necessary for the human body. A calcium rich diet is good for runners to prevent osteoporosis and stress fractures. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, dark vegetables, beans, and eggs. Sodium is not needed in excessive in massive amounts as it can do harm but when we exercise, we lose minerals like sodium through sweat. This can usually lead to people craving salty foods. It is highly suggested to keep some pretzels around after exercise fi you find yourself craving salt a lot as more often than not, people end up making a much more unhealthy choice.
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