We runners need to fuel ourselves well to be able to go the extra mile. What we put in ur body is very important. Here are 6 simple rules to ensure you are fuelling yourself in a proper manner!
#1 Go Empty Sometimes
If you’re doing an easy run or anything less than an hour, try to go empty occasionally. It trains your body to use fats as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates. Running empty means your body will first tap into the carbs stored in your glucose and liver. But once this starts to run low, it taps into burning stored fat. Fat however is oxidised slower as compared to carbs. So if you’re planning a steady state exercise for about an hour, you wouldn’t have a problem – your performance won’t suffer from running empty. However,if you’re doing a high intensity workout, it is not possible to mobilise and oxidise fat fast enough.
#2 Eat Simple
Keep it simple pre-workout. Fuel yourself with something your body is familiar. It’s best to always reach for the same pre-workout snack to allow your body to familiarise itself with it. Grab something that is easy on your digestive system, something high in carbs, low in fat, and low in fibre. Grab a banana for instance!
#3 Eat At The Right Times
Eat at least 30 minutes before your run such that you won’t be hit with gastrointestinal problems. Allow time for your food to digest. Post-workout, make sure you have something to eat within the 15-20 minute following your run. This is to kickstart the recovery process. And it is also during this window that your body absorbs nutrients at it’s best. Bring along a packet of chocolate milk or a banana or an apple to munch on.
#4 Drink Up
Make sure you are well hydrated throughout the day. It is very easy to mistake thirst for hunger. So drink up to avoid snacking unnecessarily on crisp or chocolates or even ice-cream. Make sure you are drinking at least 2-3 litres of water everyday. This is the baseline. One way to ensure you’re drinking enough water is to track the colour of your urine! If it is too yellow, you know you need to drink more water.
#5 Eat A Balanced Meal
Make sure you’re meal contains sufficient carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and fibre. Dedicate approximately half your plate to carbs, a quarter to protein and the rest to healthy fasts and fibre. Fats aren’t fried chicken skin – it is more like fats from avocado or olive oil.
#6 Cut The Rubbish
Try to avoid eating crisp, chocolates, and all the high sugar high fat food. The secret lies in getting rid of them in your house. This reduces your temptation and likelihood of snacking. Instead fill your house with healthy snacks such as nuts, edamame, greek yoghurt or fruits. Opt for the healthy option!