Fuel up: 6 tips on good ways to keep up your energy levels

A diet for runners should derive mostly of carbohydrates, up to 60 percent. Carbs are a good source of sugar for your brain, nerves and muscles.

To avoid crashing while you run, your everyday snacks and meals should emphasize carbohydrate-rich foods.


1. Eat beforehand

For runs longer than 60 minutes your body needs glucose supplied to your bloodstream. Try eating a carbohydrate-rich snack 45 minutes before your run.

Ex: fig bars, whole-grain cereal bars, energy bars, dried fruit, yogurt and berries.

2. Load the carbs

If you are running a half or full marathon, you need to top off your muscle glycogen stores the night before.

Remember don’t overdo it. Too much can lead to digestive issues. Also, experiment with different food weeks or even months before race day.

Ex: Pasta, pizza and potatoes, rice, bread.

3. Take fuel along

For runs longer than 75 minutes, you will need fuel on the run. You should be consuming carbohydrates every hour.

Ex: sport drinks, energy bars, dried fruit, gummy bears or energy gels.

4. Stay hydrated

Water is fine for runs shorter than 60 minutes. Anything longer, hydrate using sport drinks to replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat.

5. Refuel afterwards

So many people forget about the recovery stage in running. Around 30 to 60 minutes after your run make sure to reload on carbohydrates, which helps speed up glycogen replacement.

Ex: low-fat chocolate milk, energy bar with fruit, half a bagel and yogurt.

6. Boost your iron

Iron is important for a runner. It helps power your run by making hemoglobin. Without iron, runners fatigue early.

This is very important for females, especially during menstruation.

Ex: beef, dark turkey, tuna, legumes, oatmeal, cooked spinach, raisins.

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