What Should Distance Runners Include in Their Daily Diets?


Quick Answer

According to Eating Free, endurance runners should include 3.6 to 4.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight in their daily diets for optimal nutrition and 0.55 to 0.64 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and sweet potatoes should be incorporated into every meal to meet these requirements.

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Full Answer

Eating Free explains that protein from fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, soy and dairy are great choices to meet daily protein needs. Moreover, an endurance runner's fat intake should be roughly 20 to 25 percent of his daily caloric needs because distance runners burn more fat than recreational runners. Endurance runners logging over 100 miles per week need to include adequate amounts of fluids from sports drinks or water to prevent dehydration.

Dr. Liz Applegate for Runner's World adds that runners should incorporate almonds, eggs, black beans, whole-grain cereal with protein, salmon, sweet potatoes, oranges, mixed salad greens, whole grain bread, stir-fry vegetables, chicken, whole grain pasta, frozen mixed berries, dark chocolate and low fat yogurt into their diets to stay healthy. These foods offer ample amounts of vitamin E, healthy fats, lean protein, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, fiber, B vitamins and heart-healthy antioxidants to keep distance runners performing at optimal levels of fitness.

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