5 foods every runner should eat

Nutrition and diet advice for runners

Some of you may remember last year that I was working with Gatorade and had to do a food diary which showed how BAD my diet was. From this, I learnt a lot about the sorts of things I should be eating, both before and after training. There are some things that I have now made routine and have included these in the list below. I really believe they have made a difference in how I felt during my tough running days.

Protein powder

This is very important to the recovery time in between runs. After a session and long run days, so about three to four times a week, in the evening the last thing I have before I go to bed is some protein. During sleep, the body is normally starved of nutrients as it is impractical to consume food then, but this slow release protein means the muscles don't break down. It has made a big difference to how I feel the next day, and I would really recommend you add this to your diet. It is available to buy online, but just make sure it is a slow release protein.

Fruit and vegetables

There are many athletes I know who take a variety of supplements and vitamins to help with their diet. I tend to stay away from them because I believe that as long as you eat enough of the right things, you can get all the nutrients you need (apart from the protein powder). This is why fruit and vegetables are so important because it’s where the majority of vitamins come from. For instance, did you know a kiwi fruit has more vitamin C in it than an orange?


Okay, so this isn't technically a food but it is just as important. You are going to sweat when you go running and you'll be surprised how much weight you will lose from just one run. Now this isn't GOOD weight to lose, this is just water weight that you have sweated out and it NEEDS to be replaced. After all, nearly 50 per cent of you is water. Hydrating both before, after, and if possible, during your run, will really help get the most out of your training. Water is adequate, but it is also a good idea to have an energy drink like Gatorade to make sure you are replacing the salts and sugars. To get an idea of how much you need to drink, weigh yourself before and after your run and see how much you have lost. For every kilo lost, you should drink 1 litre to replace it.


Now this might just be a personal favourite of mine! I love avocados and they happen to be very good for you. I surprise myself sometimes, because who knew I could actually like something that was good for you? Now you may think that avocados are full of fat, and you would be right. HOWEVER, it is GOOD fat - monounsaturates. They can lower your risk of strokes and heart disease. So chop one up and have it in a salad, on toast, in a sandwich, whatever you want!


Again, going back to the protein eggs really helps aid recovery. Eggs are a great source of protein. Egg protein is the most complete food protein, because it contains all the important amino acids that you need to repair your muscles after running. Poached eggs are a personal favourite of mine and when venturing to the cafe in Teddington, I can guarantee 90 per cent of the athletes order poached eggs! Poached eggs on toast for lunch, a big dinner and then some slow release protein before you go to bed and you're on to a winner.

Written by Scott Overall

Scott is a British long distance athlete who represented Team GB at the 2012 Olympics. His marathon PB is currently 2:10:55.


Comments (7)

  • renton 'I always have proteins, but just after running (actually just after cool down) as a friend who is a personal trainer suggested me so. It works in terms of recovery, do you think it's ok or should I postpone until going to sleep? [I always train after 8pm btw]'

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  • KarenLuck 'Pleased that this is basically all I am eating and that it is exactly what I need! I tend to train in the morning and then have a protein powder for breakfast/mid morning, is this then ok?'

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  • Scott_Overall 'Protein is great just after running! This is the best time to take on board protein (20g is ideal). This means the body can start the recovery process, then have your main meal, and maybe some more just before bed. I think a lot of runners neglect protein and just focus on the carbs! '

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  • renton 'Thank you Scott!'

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  • amorsara 'Hi Renton, the answer to your question is a bit more complex than just when to take the protein because different kinds behave differently. For example, whey protein is absorbed very quickly into the body and therefore is perfect to take before, during or after a work out. However, casein is absorbed much more slowly and won't be as helpful during the course of a work out because the amino acids won't be available to you quickly enough. It will, however, be more helpful than whey at bedtime as it clots in the stomach and releases slowly and will therefore be absorbed by your body and used to repair muscles as you sleep. I hope that helps! There are lots of resources on the internet about the various types of protein because there are loads and loads of types - the information above is just one example of how they behave differently. '

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  • HogRider 'eat protein rich food and avoid eating beans.'

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  • HogRider 'For more food tips please visit this site http://slasher-june.site/'

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