The Importance of Proper Diet for a Runner

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There I am kneeling at the starting line, waiting for the gun to fire, Nothing goes through a sprinters mind except finishing the race as fast as possible. Set. Right leg rises to 120 degrees, and left leg goes to 90. SAM! Race is off, 10, 20, 30 meters out I seem to have the lead, but suddenly my body slows down as if I have no fuel. I took 2″d place that race, wondering to myself afterward what happened. Why is it that Usain Bolt, fastest runner in the world, can run the same 100 meters faster than I can by 2 seconds? How did the runner next to me beat me by a mere third of a second? It struck me in that moment that the lunch I had earlier clearly didn’t help Unfortunately I had also loaded on fat rather than carbohydrates the day before, This led me to explore whether certain foods make you run faster. One of the most important parts of being a sprinter is staying hydrated.

Water is a no- brainer, which is why I drink at least one gallon of it every day. Staying hydrated allows my body to ventilate properly through sweating. Minerals like potassium and electrolytes aid in regulating fluids all around my body, essentially preventing muscles from cramping up.‘ One food that is high in both minerals is bananas. It’s no wonder why my track team’s food bin is loaded with bananas at every meet. It is important to replenish my body with these minerals after every workout because I lose them when I sweat and urinate, If you’re like me, not having enough potassium and electrolytes in your body can leave you feeling tired, nauseous, and tight in your muscles. It is recommended to consume around 5,000 milligrams of potassium each day. An average-sized banana of 7-8 inches provides around 450 milligrams of potassium.

Mixed with a balanced diet of meat, fruits, vegetables, and grains, the 5,000-milligram threshold is no problem. Olympic runner Yohan Blake says, “I eat sixteen ripe bananas every day, Naturally I tend to lose potassium so I have to build it all back. For me it works, more energy”.I Sixteen bananas was too extreme for me so I cut down to four bananas a day for two weeks, I felt more energized after workouts and less tight in my leg muscles in the first week alone. In the next meet I already noticed a difference of .2 seconds in my 100 meter timer Foods such as salmon, tuna, herring, or Bolt‘s favorite saltfish, are packed with Omega»3 fats which aid in counteracting soreness and inflammation throughout the body.

In my experience, eating salmon has helped me recover faster after lifting weights every day In order to pack on muscle it is important to lift weights but just as important to take in protein every day. In order for your body to rebuild and repair muscle after workouts, it needs a large supply of protein (usually one gram for each pound you weigh), I get my daily serving mostly from chicken breast, eggs> peas and shellfish. One great source of protein I’ve recently discovered to be in our track team’s food bins is peanut butter, According to Jonny Bowden, Clinical Nurse Specialist, 100 grams of peanut butter provides 1/4 of the protein I need in a day. Last but not least it is important for runners to be loaded on carbohydrates (carbs) before every race Carbs are the main resource for my body when it comes to storing and using energy Except for fat and oils, all natural foods have carbs.

The best foods to eat for carbs are pasta and brown rice“ This made me realize why, the day before every meeting, our team would host a pasta dinner accompanied by an abundance of fruits and brown rice. Taking this trend into consideration, my daily diet now consists of two servings of whole-grain pasta every day, alongside peas, chicken and a side of bananas. It provides me with the energy 1 need for practice each day of the week without fail. Strategically planning your diet around these foods can definitely boost your speed and time, whether you‘re a 100 meter sprinter or a marathon runnert Whilst strictly following this diet, I‘ve improved my times drastically in the two upcoming meets. In the 100 meter dash, I took off 2 and 3 seconds consecutively However, I am most proud of taking off half a second for my 200 meter time, which is a huge improvement. Last but not least, I took off three whole seconds in a practice time trial for the 400 meter dash So next time you will know your decision when it comes to that slice of pizza or that plate of pasta, because I know l do.

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The Importance of Proper Diet for a Runner. (2023, Jun 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-importance-of-proper-diet-for-a-runner/

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