The Dos And Don’ts Of A Runner’s Diet

If you are a looking to gain a little speed, think about changing your diet.  A healthy diet with the right balance of proteins and carbohydrates can help you develop lean muscle, give you added energy, and reduce the time on your sprints.  However, the wrong foods can do just the opposite.  They can make you sluggish and tire easily.  Here are the do’s and don’ts of the perfect runner’s diet.


  • Eat Seeds And Nuts:  Seeds and nuts are loaded with lean proteins and healthy monounsaturated fats that can give you the long-term sustainable energy you need for running.  Plus, they are loaded with antioxidants to keep your immune system strong and promote healing.  
  • Load Up On Vegetables:  Vegetables provide all the complex carbohydrates you need to give you sustained energy without ever having to worry about blood sugar spikes and drops that can negatively impact your performance.
  • Drink Milk:  Not only will the calcium in milk help keep your bones strong against the pressures of running, milk also contains tons of whey protein that give you energy and helps build lean, strong muscles.
  • Eat Fish:  Fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which help lubricate your joints.  Since running can be very hard on your joints, you want to make sure you give your body all the tools it needs to strengthen your joints against impact.


  • Refined Sugars:  Refined sugars found in sodas, candy, and sweets can really impact your running performance.  Refined sugar may give you a quick boost of energy, but will also be followed by a hard crash that will leave you drained and unable to run.
  • Simple Carbohydrates:  Simple carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and fruit juice, have the same problem as refined sugar.  Your energy will spike, but burn out quickly.
  • Salty Foods:  Salty foods like chips, pretzels, and canned soup increase water retention in the body.  This excess water makes you heavier, so your body has to work harder to get you moving.  Excess salt translates to slower track times.
  • Bad Fats:  Bad fats like trans fats found in things margarine and junk food are incredibly hard for your body to process and use.  So these fats often just get stored.  Runners need healthy fats to build muscle and sustain their energy, so reach for good fats found in avocados, nuts, and coconut oil.

These simple diet tips will increase your time on the track.  Eating the proper runner’s diet is especially important for people who need sustained energy like cross-country runners, players of running-intensive sports like football, basketball, and soccer, and anyone who is doing routine drills.  So next time you reach for a snack, make sure it’s something that will improve your times and not slow you down.