Common Nutrition Concerns of Runners

At our Body Fusion clinics we are increasingly seeing more and more runners in relation to their nutrition. 

In Lane Cove we have just established a relationship with North Shore Fitness and Outdoor Training. You can read more about them here: www.nsrunningfitness.com.au/

It doesn’t matter if its elite training program, an upcoming personal goal such as a half marathon or an integral part of weekly routine/fitness - our runners are struggling to manage their nutrition around their training and performance.

WHEN and WHAT to eat? Well yes, it’s quite the dilemma. Lucky you’ve got some passionate dietitians at your disposal.

Here are some of the most common issues we observe...

The wrong fuel mix:

Our macronutrients carbohydrate, protein, fat and alcohol provide energy via metabolism. For middle to long distance running our premium petrol is going to be carbohydrate, particularly the longer we run.

Our guidelines suggest 45-65% of energy to come carbohydrates for the general population. However, these percentages obviously need to change for each runner based on training frequency, intensity and duration.

Fact Carbohydrate containing foods aren’t simply breads, pasta and potatoes! Carbohydrate can also be found in many other food sources such as yoghurt, legumes and lentils and fruit.

What we often find with our runners is that they are not tapering their carbohydrate properly around training or the quality needs improvement. Some carbohydrate sources are going to be more sustaining for training or performance. Others will conveniently take you on a quick up and down rollercoaster ride and then leave you panting by the roadside in an exhausted heap.

Incorrect timing of meals

To eat or not eat before you run? GOOD QUESTION. And that’s going to often be different from individual to individual. Not all one Nike shoe fits all.

I have also done a lot of work with runners who are incorporating fats at the wrong time of their training. There is nothing worse than trudging along with a stitch or heavy stomach!

Runners Gut

Do you suffer from stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhoea during running or races? Studies suggest 30-50% of endurance athletes experience such complaints due to physiological, mechanical or nutritional origin. Symptoms will vary based on the environmental conditions, event distance and fitness level of participant.

It’s happened to many of us, and its not exactly convenient. It’s not always just due to stress either. Helping our runners manage this kind of problem nutritionally means they’re running in the right direction, not just towards the nearest bathroom (Winning!).

Inadequate Hydration

With 1-2% loss of body weight though primarily through sweat loss there is a direct correlation to performance deficit. 

Dehydration is important to manage as a part of your training and race plan and this includes not only prior and during your run but also after the exercise is completed. Yes – rehydration with water first before a celebratory drink!

Our dietitians would love to help you keep running into the sunset. Coming into the cooler months we are starting to hit fun run and marathon season. Give us a call!