Some of the biggest diet mistakes for runners are so easy to avoid. If you are new to running, or if you find that you struggle to keep up with your training, you may be making one of these very common nutrition mistakes without even realizing it. Some of these are all too easy to succumb to and others are even surprising. I’ve included six common mistakes that I’ve seen, but add more below if you have some of your own to share.
One thing a lot of runners do is focus their diet around their training. They will eat either before or immediately following a run. That’s not the key to successful training. It’s what you eat all day that impacts your performance. Food is fuel, so regular intake of higher quality foods is important. Be aware that greens, nuts, berries, and lean meats tend to be more satisfying and require fewer calories to burn.
carbo-loading before intense runs with less refined carbs is a good idea, but don’t think you need to have a full plate of pasta. That will predictably weigh you down. Carbs are naturally occurring in most kinds of foods that are good for you, so don’t shy away from carbs, just don’t overload on the wrong kind. rice is an excellent alternative to pasta.
Hydration is so important, it is not to be forgotten. It’s smart to get into the habit of drinking plenty of water, or low sugar-flavored water with electrolytes. One problem running presents itself with is that unlike a bicycle, you can’t easily keep a water bottle on you while you run. Even so, you should keep one around that you have access to before and after you run.
One of the biggest diet mistakes is to eat too much after a run. You are famished, and you feel like rewarding yourself, but you don’t burn as many calories as you might think from running. Just because you got a great work out does not mean it will cancel out any poor nutrition or excess calories you put in your system. you need to consistently eat better quality foods to continue to sustain yourself as a runner.
Overusing sports drinks and chews is a bad idea. These are no substitute for regular food and they are loaded with sugar. be careful about relying on them too hard for your calorie intake and for rehydration.
No matter what diet you find, it’s important to recognize that everybody is different. Another one of the biggest diet mistakes I’ve seen is just running with a nutritional mentality despite the outcome. You should take note of how different foods affect you during and after a run and adjust your diet based on results. You may find that you need to change things up throughout your training.
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