25 Running Foods For Energy, Power, Speed & Endurance

A good running diet for marathon runners, half marathon runners, 5k and 10k runners is one that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and sufficient but not excessive in protein. That translates to about 60 percent of your calories coming from carbohydrates, 25 percent from fat, and 15 percent from protein.

Carbohydrates are the most important foods in a runners diet. That is why it is recommend they have 60% in their diet. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscles as glycogen, the primary fuel you need to keep you moving. When this efficient source of energy wears out, so do you. You hit the wall and can go no further (often after about 90 minutes or two hours of running).

Carbohydrates come in two flavors: simple and complex. The complex carbos are the ones you’re after. These are absorbed slowly into your system and give you a steady energy supply.

Best Complex Carbohydrates Foods For Runners who want energy, speed & endurance.

1. Bananas

Bananas make the perfect pre-race snack. They are easy to eat and digest and are loaded with fast-acting carbohydrates (one large banana provides 31 grams of carbs).

2. Whole-Wheat Pasta

You don’t need me to tell you that pasta is high in carbs. One cup of whole-wheat spaghetti provides 37 grams. As with other grain-based foods, whole-grain pasta supplies more nutrition and yields longer-lasting energy.

3. Brown Rice

Cereal grains such as brown rice are among the richest sources of carbohydrate. One cup of brown rice has 45 grams of carbohydrate. Whole grains such as brown rice are considered healthier than refined grains such as white rice because they contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also absorbed more slowly, so they provide more lasting energy.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an ideal pre-race breakfast food. It’s easy to eat and digest and provides a ton of carbs: one half-cup gives you a whopping 54 grams!

5. Sweet Potatoes

Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid), vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. The sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. A serving of 100g will give you 365 calories.

6. Whole-Grain Bread

Whole-grain breads are a better choice that all white breads. All white breads are all calories without nutritional values. Whole grain bread is made from cereal grains and contains germ, endosperm and bran, unlike refined grains, which contain only the endosperm. Because whole grain bread retains the germ and bran of the grain, it contains higher amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals than white bread. Whole grain bread contains about 70 calories per slice.

7. Low fat Yogurt

Low fat milk-based foods such as yogurt are very rich sources of carbohydrate. A six-ounce serving of low fat blueberry yogurt supplies 26 grams of carbs. Low fat yogurt is another good pre- race food, because it works quickly.

8. Vegetables

Vegetables are high in water, low in fat, have multiple vitamins and minerals, and most varieties are complex carbs. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, turnip greens, eggplant, potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, onions, all types of lettuce, celery, cucumbers, cabbage, artichokes and asparagus are all examples of these.

Foods That Keep You Lean and Running as Fast as a Cheetah

Although protein is not used as energy source during running, it plays an important role in repairing and building your body. Running is an impact sport and a well built body will withstand the heavy pounding. This will enable you to have stamina, power and endurance in your running.

Proteins also helps to keep your body lean. It is a fact, the lighter you are the faster you can run.

9. Milk

The health benefits of milk—which has carbohydrates, electrolytes, calcium and vitamin D—have long been established. But for athletes, milk also contains the two proteins best for rebuilding muscles: casein and whey. Some scientist even argue, milk may be just as good or even better than sports drinks for serious athletes.

10. Eggs.

Along with milk, eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.

11. Beans.

Beans are high in protein. Soybeans have “complete” protein and other beans contain high levels of all but one of the necessary amino acids (methionine) that makes protein “complete”.Bean nutrition is high. Besides fiber, protein and other nutrients, beans are rich in iron and magnesium.

12. Lean beef.

Beef is a naturally nutrient-rich powerhouse that is an excellent source of five essential nutrients: protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorous. It’s a good source of five more essential nutrients: choline, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, and riboflavin. Today beef is 20% leaner, on average, than it was early 1990s. The 29 cuts of lean beef average 154 calories in a 3-oz. serving and only one more gram of saturated fat than a comparable serving of skinless, boneless chicken breast.

13. Nuts 

Yes, they are fattening: A handful of peanuts is about 165 calories. But research shows that people who snack on nuts tend to be slimmer than those who don’t.

14. Tofu

Tofu is popular with the vegetarian athletes, but that is for good reason. Tofu can fill in where meat would normally fit in. It is rich in protein and calcium. An ounce of firm tofu contains about 11 g of protein.

Good Fats for runners who want speed endurance.

Fat is also used as an energy source in aerobic activities such as marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k races. The amount of fat  used as fuel depends on the athlete’s condition. Trained athletes use fat for energy more quickly than untrained athletes.

15. Peanuts and natural peanut butter:

With a high dose of monounsaturated fat, some minerals and a bit of fiber, this is a wonderful addition to any sound diet, as long as you are not allergic of course.

16. Olive Oil

One good olive is the extra virgin olive oil. The “extra virgin” means from the first cold pressing, meaning that it also retains all the nutrients of the olive, but even more concentrated, yet no salty brines. Feel free to use them on salads, vegetable trays or right out of the jar for a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat. Cured olives have been a treat enjoyed by the masses throughout the ages.

17. Salmon and other fatty fish

These are still primarily a protein food, but the healthy fat inside cannot be understated. There are several varieties like Sockeye, Copper River and King and all are amazing foods.

18. Organic, unpasteurized butter & cream

A little taste of the French Paradox here! Definitely worth it if you can find these, as they contain enzymes and CLA and are easy on the palette. Even better if they come from certified grass-fed cows.

19. Raw nuts

Almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamias, etc. are tremendous healthy fats. Good sources of protein and fiber, while also a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fat, minerals, and Vitamin E. Try the nut butters if you don’t like nuts, just make sure there is no roasting or commercial processing involved.

20. Avocadoes.

Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat.

Recipe for runners food who want to run faster

This is a Carbon Loading recipe to be prepared and eaten on the eve of a race. This recipe is courtesy of leana of small snippetblogNoodles

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