18th April 2021

In the health and fitness world, April is typically associated with the London Marathon. Unfortunately, this year, due to the pandemic, marathon runners across the nation are forced to miss out on one of the most momentous life-changing endurance events in the world.  

However, the cancellation of the London Marathon doesn’t mean you have to hang up your running boots. Going for a run, or a light jog even, has many proven health benefits both physical and mental. 

In this blog we want to explore how dietary choices can help you become a better runner. 

Carbs are not your enemy 

We’ve heard it all before on many fitness blogs and social media pages. “Cut down on carbs” they say, “stop eating rice and pasta” they say. We’re taught to believe that carbs are bad for us and consuming too many might give us a round belly or muffin top. 

When it comes to running though, we cannot underestimate the power of carbs, especially rice, pasta and potatoes. Afterall, carbs are what give us our energy in the form of glucose which is then stored as glycogen. 

This stored glycogen is what gives runners more stamina and power in a process which is much quicker than if your body had to break down fat and protein for energy. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have free reign to gobble all the pizza and chips you desire. Pick your carbs wisely and ensure your portion size reflects a balanced plate as well as the intensity and duration of your run. 

Eat the rainbow 

As kids, a lot of us would have been taught the food wheel from a young age. Broken down into categories, we roughly know what’s good for us and what we should eat in moderation. 

A simple tip they didn’t give us though was to “eat the rainbow”.  

What this means is opt for colourful fruits, vegetables and spices which are much more likely to boast a powerful nutritional profile.  

The more varied your food, the more essential vitamins and minerals you’re likely to consume, which is essential for runners because speed work and long durational running places a heavy impact on the body. 

The antioxidant properties of colourful foods such as blueberries, cherries and turmeric will also enable quick recovery following your run in a manner which is natural and organic. 

Load up on the protein 

Upping the protein intake is usually associated with muscle building, however runners and endurance athletes need protein too as it’s crucial in repairing muscle after a strenuous workout to avoid injury and damage. 

It’s important to remember that only 30g of protein is the max amount which can be synthesized in a sitting, so be careful not to load up your day’s protein intake in a single meal (Symons, Sheffield-Moore, Wolfe, et al, 2009).   

It’s better to ensure protein is included in all your main meals, as well as your snacks, and make sure you opt for produce which is less processed and more plant or animal based.  

How can Peel help 

At Peel we have a ton of options when it comes to mindfully selecting your pre or post-run meal choice and offer something for all palates.  

Take a look at our menu by downloading our app

References 

Symons, T. B., Shefield-Moore, M., Wolfe, R. R., et al, (2009). A moderate serving of high-quality protein maximally stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in young and elderly subjects. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 109(9). https://jandonline.org/article/S0002-8223(09)00769-X/abstract