When I first started running, little did I know about properly fueling my body for training and performance. It wasn’t until after a few workouts I would feel depleted, that I realized I needed to change my eating habits in order to continue training. Although, I ate a well-balanced diet, I found myself skipping meals while my body was screaming for more fuel.
Did you know that according to Active.com, you will be burning an extra 100 calories roughly for each mile that you run? After learning this fun fact and doing more research on my poor eating patterns, I started to adopt a healthier diet that includes these essentials: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium.
Here are my top 8 ways to stay healthy:
- Breakfast – This is my favorite meal of the day, not only because I have the chance to burn the calories off, but because I like to include boiled eggs, multigrain bread, oatmeal and yogurt.
- Pre-Run – Before the run, I normally don’t eat. I will have my caffeine fix and a glass of water to keep me hydrated.
- Pre-racing breakfast – If I am racing, I will have a bowl of oatmeal with some brown sugar and fruit. Sometimes, I will have pancakes with fruit, about a couple of hours before the race. If there is no time to eat, I will bring a protein bar with me or have a smoothie.
- Lunch – Usually, I will have some soup or a salad.
- Snack – If I am running after work, I will bring an apple or any other light snack before the workout. This will sustain me until dinner.
- Water – I drink plenty of water, about eight cups a day. I make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. I like to find routes that have water stops along the way or I bring a water bottle with me.
- Vitamins – I take vitamin C each day to fight off any colds.
- Next day racing – I am racing the next day, I eat foods that I know agree with me; otherwise, I’ll end up with an upset stomach. I also avoid creamy sauces or spices. Making healthier food choices was key to improving my running and a quicker recovery.
I still enjoy having snack foods and I do have a sweet tooth, but I keep everything in moderation. Now I keep healthier snacks around like pumpkin seeds, so I won’t overindulge.