Probably one of the most important things to consider when doing this running challenge is to make sure you are eating a nutrient packed diet. You are going to challenge your body unlike you usually do, so you need to make sure you are only putting the best things into your body. Here are 5 diet tips for runners, which will be helpful over the next month:
1. Make sure you are eating REAL food!
Yes, I said it. REAL FOOD. What does this mean? Well, this means to buy food with little to no preservatives. This means that your food should go bad in a few days, which means you might need to go to the grocery store more than once this week (I apologize in advance).
The less processed your food is, the better. Unprocessed animal and plant foods provide more nutrients for overall better optimal health. So for one month, spend a little extra at the store and buy better food and less eating out (and on booze) and feel the difference!
2. Cut back the Sugar
(Processed) Sugar is one of the worst things out there for our bodies. There was a study conducted back in 2007 with rats to see what a was more of an addictive substance, cocaine or sugar. Rats were given 2 options of water, one with sugar and the other with cocaine. Guess what, 94% of rats picked the water with sugar over the water with cocaine!
Sugar is in pretty much all processed foods. America is the worst country in the world for sugar intake and that stems from our poor diets. We average 126.4 grams of sugar a DAY! That’s about ¼ a pound.
When trying to optimize your diet, you want to cut out sugar because excessive sugar can lead to weight gain, lower energy, and other major health issues.
3. Load up on the veggies
Veggies are the best foods you can for your body. Plain and simple. They are low in calories, packed with nutrients, and have little sugar. During this month, try to have 2-3 servings of veggies a day. Throw some in with your eggs in the morning, or swap in a salad for lunch or dinner.
4. Its Okay to Have a Cheat Meal
No one is perfect – and neither is any diet, so enjoy a good cheat meal here and there (About once a week). You need to enjoy the little things in life, but do it in moderation.
5. Consider Your Macros
The last thing to consider when reevaluating your diet over the next month are your macros. Usually, you might be doing a 40/30/30 break down. That is 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. But with this challenge being focused on running, especially running distances you probably don’t do that often, consider adding more carbs to your diet.
This will help provide your body with the energy needed to run these long distances and help with the recovery process as well. Maybe shoot for a 50/30/20 (50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein) to start. If you feel like you are still lacking energy after your long runs, you might want to go even go higher with the carbs.
For a quick recap, remember that to get the most out of this challenge, you are going to want to make sure you have a diet plan that is providing your body with the nutrients needed to have effective workouts. Use these 5 diet tips for runners and hopefully you will see success throughout the month of September!