8 Best Foods for Runners

African american woman runner jogging outdoors - Fitness, peopl

…you wouldn’t believe #8

The Basis of Nutrition

Nutrition is an important basis of our health. In the last decade alone, scientists and nutritionists have been working nonstop with regards to research and studies that prove (or disprove) any wild health claims on different types of food. There is what we call the general nutrition guidelines which cater to most people and have been studied to provide what is essential for our bodies to run efficiently.

As it is, the definition of proper nutrition is not static or isolated to just one type of person. True enough, improving your diet will get you started on the right track but what would be the ideal diet for you?

Different people living in different types of culture have differing nutritional needs based on what they do and where they can get it. Some diets are made to make sure a person’s nutritional needs are met daily. A few are tailor-made for a person’s specific function. Such is the case for runners.

Runner’s Diet

There are diets specifically made to benefit runners just like there are diets made for those who want bigger muscles or those who want to lose weight. We can talk about fad diets or about sports nutrition for bodybuilders but most runners depend on a different menu. Even our best athletes don’t have the same diet. Don’t be surprised that the foods in this list are meant to simply make you run faster and last longer in a race. These ensure that a runner, specifically someone who literally lives for the race, gets their share of nutrition which not only maintains their optimum health but also make them stronger too.

Below is a list of 8 of the best foods for the best runners. These foods are chosen for their nutritional benefits and their positive effects for runners, new or veteran.

  1. Wild Salmon

Wild Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for cardiovascular health. It improves nervous system functions and definitely keeps a runner’s heart pumping the right amount of blood while running.

  1. Cherries

Cherries have been studied to be the most antioxidant-rich fruit on the planet. Because of this they are considered one of the superfoods and are capable of preventing certain diseases and cancers. Cherries help runners relieve soreness faster and reduces strength use during performance.

  1. Kale

Kale contains high levels of Vitamins A, B6, C, and K. It also has good amount of iron and calcium and has been touted as one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables in the world. It is a good source of dietary fiber and protein.

  1. Skim milk

Skim milk has a good balance of carbohydrates and proteins and is essential as a post-exercise drink for runners. The nutrients contained in milk help repair muscles faster and glycogen stores are replenished faster.

  1. Bananas

Bananas are one of the best pre-workout foods for athletes especially for runners. A large sized banana roughly contains at least 30 g of carbohydrates which makes this an effective source of energy for long distance running. Not to mention how it has absolutely no fat content. It’s especially high in potassium which is a mineral that is often lost while sweating it out. They’re also a handy food what with their natural packaging and is easily eaten even on an empty stomach.

  1. Soy

You can enjoy soy either as edamame or steamed soybeans or as tofu and milk. It’s also an excellent source of protein. It helps lower cholesterol and help prevent bone decay or osteoporosis. As a post-workout drink, soymilk can help promote muscle recovery.

  1. Oatmeal

To maximize performance, runners have to get at least 60% of their calorie needs from carbohydrates. Fueling your body with a high-carb meal before a run will certainly give you all the necessary energy you need to run fast and run long.

  1. Green Tea

Drinking green tea has amazing antioxidant benefits. These antioxidants come mainly in the form of Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG which have been shown to increase endurance. It works by reducing free radical activity which inhibits fat metabolism. Better fat metabolism means more energy converted for running.


A runner’s diet is purposely different than that of a weightlifter or any other type of sports/fitness enthusiast. As the nutritional needs differ from one person to another, a specific diet meant to enhance overall performance will not be the same for every athlete. As such, the foods in this article would serve the need of any runner as these are not just filled with a lot of nutrients but with enough energy to keep someone running faster and longer.


About The Author:

Food Scientist. Fitness and Health Aficionado. Investor. Writer.

Robert James likes to tell people how to grow their money and how to naturally lose body fat. He owns a small website catered to his passion to write about health and fitness. His main weapon against weakness is the kettlebell.