Nutrition guide

Nutrition guide for running training


Before exercise

  • Drink 14 to 20 ounces of water or a sports drink two to three hours before your run to ensure you are hydrated.
  • Drink 8 ounces just before your workout or race, especially if it’s hot or humid.
  • Check the color of your urine — it should be pale yellow. If it’s dark, you need to drink more.
  • Two to four hours before your run, eat a snack or light meal (400 to 800 calories): high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, low in fat, low in fibre. Good snacks are a smoothie, peanut butter and honey toast, oatmeal with fruit and almonds, low-fat cottage cheese, or crackers and fruit
  • One hour before your run, eat a light snack, such as an energy bar or fruit (30-60 g of carbohydrates). For an early morning workout, eat something smaller, like half an energy bar or a sports drink.

During exercise

Moisturizing: Drink regularly during exercise to replace fluids lost through sweat. Weigh yourself before and after a run to determine fluid loss, replacing 16 ounces of fluid for every pound lost.
Eat: If your workout is less than 60-90 minutes, you don’t need to pack a snack. When training or long distance races reach 90 minutes or more, it is recommended to eat 30-60 g of carbohydrates per hour. Sports bars, gels or drinks and fruit are ideal.

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After exercising

Fifteen to 30 minutes after exercise, consume carbohydrates, protein, and 16 ounces of fluid for each pound lost, for example, 8 to 16 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk, a smoothie with yogurt and berries, or a sports drink and a sports bar.
Repeat 2 hours after exercise.

race day

  • Eat a carbohydrate-rich meal one to four hours before the race, such as toast, a bagel or English muffin with jam or jelly, cereal, fruit, low-fat yogurt, a sports bar , fruit juice and skimmed milk.
  • Avoid foods high in fiber and fat on race day, as these can cause abdominal cramps. Don’t try any new sports foods, bars or gels on race day.

Example Meal Plan for Training

Breakfast: Bagel or two slices of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, fruit, 8 ounces of milk or 1 cup of yogurt

To taste: 1 to 2 ounces of cheese with six to eight crackers

Lunch: Turkey sandwich (3 ounces of turkey, two slices of bread or whole wheat bread, lettuce, tomato), pretzels, side salad, and 8 ounces of fruit juice

Before you train: Energy bar (200-250 calories), peanut butter and honey on toast or bagel, cereal with milk or fruit. For a long period, eat a snack/larger meal, such as a sandwich with lean meat, hummus, or peanut butter, an energy bar and 8 ounces of juice, or a turkey burger with lettuce, tomato, salad and yogurt parfait

After training: 2 cups low fat chocolate milk

Supper: 3-4 ounces of lean meat (fish, chicken, lean beef, or pork), 1-2 cups cooked pasta with marinara sauce or olive oil, 1 cup cooked vegetables, or 2 cups salad

To taste: Two to three fig bars with 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt

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