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It took me a long time to really, truly understand just how important nutrition is when it comes to maintaining a balanced, healthy and strong running routine.
No matter if you’re setting out to conquer your first 5k or you’re aiming to PR in your next marathon, without a solid nutrition strategy, even the best training plan can fall short.
Even if you eat a fully balanced diet with all of the food groups, it can be hard to fulfill all of your nutritional needs, and this is especially true if you’re running lots of miles every week or working out at high intensities often.
It’s important to make sure that you’re consuming enough protein, especially directly after your workouts, and replenishing other nutrients like electrolytes and essential vitamins and minerals. Doing this will greatly improve your body’s ability to recover after exercise, and as a result, it’s likely your performance will increase — the faster you can recover and the less sore your muscles feel, the quicker you can get back to giving 100 percent in your next workout!
Personally, transforming the way I eat both before and after I run (as well as before and after the other types of workouts I do) has made a world of a difference when it comes to my performance. When it comes to running I cannot sustain a long-distance training routine unless I’m eating well (read: mostly whole foods) and supplementing my diet with extra essentials that are missing.
Maybe you’re thinking, but if I’m eating mostly whole foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, whole grains, etc.) what could be missing from my diet? Why would I need anything extra?
OK, good point! The truth is, if you’re eating mostly whole foods for three-meals a day and drinking an appropriate amount of water, chances are, you’re probably getting just about everything you need.
However, be honest! How often do you do exactly that every day of the week? Personally, I know my diet isn’t perfect and it never will be, nor do I expect it to ever be. I’m only human!
And it’s for this very reason that I like to supplement my diet with protein, electrolytes (after my long running workouts), greens blends in my smoothies and antioxidants.
Plus, not only do I want to keep my running performance at the highest possible level, but even more importantly, I want to support my overall health so that I can live a long, healthy, wholesome and abundant life for as long as possible!
It took me a few years of trial and error, but this is certainly what has worked for me and if there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that great nutrition can only help support whatever healthy journey you’re on!
Disclosure: I am a Life’s Abundance Executive Field Representative and will receive a commission for each product sale made through my unique URL.