Training Resources

Nutrition Guide for Runners

by Kathleen Deegan, PhD, MS, RD

Goals for Pre-Performance

  • Choose a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack to restore muscle & fuel activity
  • Limit fat & fiber to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort & ensure optimal digestion
  • Eat meals & snacks that are 4:1 carbohydrate : protein
  • Start your run well hydrated by drinking plenty of water & eating foods high in water, i.e. fruits & vegetables

Goals for Mid-Event Nutrition

  • Choose high-energy snacks & beverages that fuel & hydrate for optimal performance
  • Limit fat, fiber & protein to ensure easy digestion & prevent stomach upset
  • Good choices include: water, banana or orange slices, sports drink & GU (30 min into activity)

Post-Event Nutrition

  • Begin nutrition recovery within 45 min after run for optimal results
  • Eat recovery meals & snacks that are 3:1 carbohydrate : protein

Goals for Recovery

  • Replenish energy stores by replacing muscle fuel (carbohydrate)
  • Rebuild & repair muscle (protein)
  • Restore fluid & electrolyte balance
  • For every 1lb weight lost, drink 16 oz. water

Night Before Event
  • Turkey & Swiss cheese sandwich
  • Pasta primavera or pasta with marinara sauce
  • Baked potato with vegetables and cheese
30-60 Min Before Event
  • Peanut butter & banana on 100% whole grain bread
  • Bagel with fat free cream cheese
  • Fruit smoothie / fruit
  • Cereal with nonfat milk
Within 45 Min After Event
  • Nonfat chocolate milk
  • Fruit & yogurt smoothie
  • String cheese & pretzels
  • Graham crackers & peanut butter
  • Frozen yogurt with fruit & nuts
Within 3-4 Hrs After Event
  • Whole wheat pita sandwich with turkey & veggies, pretzels & milk
  • Rice bowl with beans, cheese, salsa, avocado & whole grain tortilla
  • Stir fry with steak, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots & brown rice

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