Runner's World (UK) - - Old Ways, New Ways -

THE OLD WAY Run­ners didn’t worry about what they ate be­cause they didn’t think it mat­tered. Food gave en­ergy and drink took care of thirst: end of story.

THE NEW WAY Most run­ners know bet­ter. And some, such as those who iden­tify them­selves as Pa­leo, ve­gan or gluten-free, feel they know much bet­ter.

THE BEST WAY While the mer­its of var­i­ous di­ets could – and does – pro­vide fod­der for long and con­tentious de­bates, most run­ners should fol­low two ba­sic prin­ci­ples, says sports nu­tri­tion­ist Barbara Lewin: en­sure you get a bal­anced mix of carbs, lean pro­tein and healthy fats (found in foods such as olive oil and av­o­ca­dos); and when choos­ing carbs, em­pha­sise fruits, veg­eta­bles, legumes and whole grains to main­tain the en­ergy stores that will fuel your work­outs.

Be­ing at your best weight af­fects your per­for­mance, which run­ners have al­ways known. But ‘it’s a del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween get­ting enough calo­ries to run good work­outs and try­ing to lose body fat’, says Lewin. She says the best way to do that is to pay at­ten­tion to both por­tion size and tim­ing. ‘Don’t take in most of your calo­ries at din­ner, be­cause you ex­pend most of your en­ergy ear­lier in the day,’ she says.

Eat healthily not just to get faster, but be­cause it makes you feel bet­ter. And if you’re ‘good’ most of the time, don’t feel guilty about the oc­ca­sional splurge.

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