As important as having a proper workout plan is for runners, it is equally important to have a proper diet plan too. A healthy diet maintains your immune system, keeps you energized, and improves your overall well-being. Runners need to consume sufficient nutrients in their diet to maintain optimal performance. The right dietary choices can help runners achieve their goals. The body also loses nutrients during a race. Therefore, it is necessary to replenish your body with the right fuel. We have mentioned a list of nutrients below, essential in a diet plan.
Carbs are the key fuel source. They help maintain the glycogen level in the liver, which increases muscle endurance. After a long run, they help replenish energy. If you are preparing to go for a longer run, then it is important to include the right carbs and to consume them at the right time.
A protein-rich diet is necessary for runners, as it accelerates muscle growth, and replenishes tissue lost during the run, among other things. Proteins also contain amino acids, nine of which are essential because the body cannot produce them. They can help reduce soreness and increase the energy level.
Fats are another macronutrient that runners can not avoid. Besides other benefits, fats help in lubricating joints, reducing inflammation, and helps the body absorb certain vitamins. However, it is important to be mindful of the fats that you are including in your diet. Unsaturated fats are better than saturated fats.
Runners need to ensure that their diet has an adequate supply of vitamins. While vitamin C helps in repairing tissues, vitamin D is found to help reduce injuries. Vitamin E helps to maintain the immune system and keeps your body resilient.
In order for the body to function adequately, it needs its daily supply of minerals. Minerals such as sodium help maintain muscle function; lack of the same can lead to a feeling of fatigue. The body also needs calcium to maintain bone strength. Lack of calcium can lead to the weakening of the bones. Magnesium, too, helps in maintaining muscle and nerve function. For athletes, it is vital to consume minerals such as potassium, zinc, iron, etc.
Nutrients, therefore, play an essential role in a diet plan. While it is crucial to make the right dietary choices, it is equally important to know the right time to consume them. Therefore, maintaining a diet chart and sticking to it is imperative.