What foods should runners eat?

An article on right foods for runners

As a runner, it is very important that you take care of your body and eat the right foods for runners, in order to improve your performance.

This is especially so if you want to run long distances, that is, 10K and above.


Here are the types of foods for runners that you should be incorporating into your diet if you aim to run regularly and take part in races – to maximise your performance, prevent running injuries and give you the ability to become a better runner.

Whole grain carbohydrates

hotdogsAs a runner, you need lots of energy for your training sessions and actual races. Eating whole grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice, bread and pasta will give you the energy to do so. These are good foods for runners.

In addition, choosing the whole grains, compared to the white processed ones, will help you feel fuller longer. As a result, you will not feel as hungry, so you are less likely to overeat.

To incorporate whole grains into your diet, you could perhaps swap white bread for brown bread, white rice for brown rice, and choose the whole grain cereals instead of the processed version.


BananaRunners lose a lot of potassium when they sweat it out. Bananas are a great source of potassium. So they help to not only replenish the potassium, but they also help to minimise muscle contraction, which leads to cramps.

To add bananas to your diet, you could slice them up and put them on top of your breakfast cereals or toast, or simply eat them as a snack when you are feeling slightly peckish.

Peanut butter

I am sure you must remember eating peanut butter with toast as a child. As a runner, eating it is also good for you, because this simple spread is a great source of proteins, which help to build and repair your damaged muscles. Peanut butter also contains the healthy fibre that keeps you full for longer periods of time, so you are less likely to binge after a long run.

You could incorporate peanut butter into your diet by spreading it onto your toast for breakfast or even have peanut butter sandwiches as a post-workout snack.


EggThis humble breakfast food is a great source of proteins, which help with muscle repair and recovery. Also, eggs contain 30 per cent of Vitamin K, which is important to maintain healthy bones. After all, you won’t want your bones to be brittle and break – getting injured is the last thing that a runner would want. So eggs are great foods for runners.

It is also easy to incorporate eggs into your diet – they are a very versatile food. You can fry or scramble a couple of them for breakfast, or cook them up into a delicious omelette for lunch or dinner.

Sweet potatoes

These root vegetables are high in manganese and copper, which are important for your muscles to function properly and to prevent muscle injuries. Sweet potatoes are also high in Vitamin A, containing beta-carotene (a good antioxidant).

You can prepare sweet potatoes by baking or boiling them. You can also make baked sweet potato fries to replace the traditional French fries and also stew them with meat in gravy.

Low Fat Yoghurt

Yoghurt contains plenty of calcium, which is important to build strong bones and prevent stress fractures in runners. As a result, your bones will become stronger and be able to withstand the challenging demands of training, much better. A bonus is that yoghurt also contains carbohydrates and proteins, which runners need. So yoghurt are great foods for runners.

A small tub of yoghurt, sprinkled with a handful of nuts, will do nicely as an afternoon snack. You could also add yoghurt to your cereals for breakfast, for a healthy and fulfilling meal.

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