8 Foods To Boost Your Running Performance

Kerry Sutton   October 12, 2018

Bananas

These are a great high carb ‘go to’ for a quick boost before a run.  But more than this they are a great source of magnesium, vitamin B6 and potassium. What do these minerals and vitamins do? Runners put a lot of pressure on their joints and bones and magnesium plays a key role in maintaining a healthy skeletal system.  Potassium, like sodium, is lost though sweating and can lead to muscle cramps.  Vitamin B6 is involved in energy metabolism, the synthesis of haemoglobin, transport of oxygen to the cells and the synthesis of white blood cells.

Oats

As I have mentioned before, oats are the perfect breakfast. They provide plenty of carbs and fibre.  The unrefined variety have a low glycaemic index which means they provide energy a consistent, steady stream of energy unlike sugar-laden cereals.

Peanut butter

It’s a good source of Vitamin E, which is one of the most effective antioxidant vitamins. It is true that peanuts contain a lot of fat (and is thus not low calorie), but its good fats – predominantly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These can help lower cholesterol levels in your blood, but it doesn’t stop there: they are important for strengthening your immune system, speeding up your post-run recovery and preventing injuries. Bingo! And there’s more: peanut butter also contains protein and thus helps your muscles grow.

Broccoli

These little ‘trees’ as we call them at home are full of vitamin C. According to studies, this can help reduce the risk of sore muscles after intense workouts. Broccoli is also a good source of calcium, folic acid and vitamin K, which strengthen our bones.

Dark chocolate

Yup it’s ok to indulge! Dark chocolate (with at least 70% cacao) can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Plus, the flavanols help reduce inflammation.

Coffee

Studies have shown that a cup of coffee can give your work out a boost. The caffeine helps you run faster and cover your training distance in less time (it should be drunk black and with no sugar to get maximum gain). Many people still think that coffee dehydrates your body, but this has now been found to not be true.

Potato

Potatoes like bananas are a valuable source of potassium, making them a staple of every runner’s diet. One sweet potato can cover your total daily requirement of vitamin A. This vitamin works as an antioxidant, improves your eyesight, strengthens your bone tissue and boosts your immune system.