Have you ever decided to take a road trip without checking how much gas you have in your car? Most people usually fill up the gas tank for taking off on their journey, or at least know where the first fill-up station is on the map. Just like a car, runners need fuel to sustain the body during exercise. In addition to adequate hydration, pre- and post-exercise nutrition provides that much-needed fuel to keep a person going through a workout and to help in tissue recovery.
Carbohydrates are the ideal fuel for your body. Complex carbs, such as whole wheat bread, sustain a body in the long term. Simple carbs, such as sugar, are more readily absorbed into the bloodstream, providing you with quick energy. Keep in mind that the duration of the workout will greatly affect your carbohydrate levels. For example, a marathon runner will need to consume more carbs than an 800-meter runner.
Protein plays an important part in the body. Protein helps maintain blood pH, transports vitamins, and manufactures hormones. Runners should remember to include a protein food after their run.
As a general guide, 50-75 grams of carbohydrates should be eaten 2 hours prior to a run. After a run, a snack containing 35-50 grams of carbohydrates and 12-15 grams of protein should be eaten.
Want more information? Check out the article “Top Snacks for Runners” at