What’s best to eat so that I can run faster?


As you know I am not a nutrition expert – which is why I worked closely with Jennifer Bulcock in my online weightloss/well-being/fitness programme.

But I do know that the foods we eat can have a massive improvement or even deterioration in our fitness performance.


Use yourself as a guinea pig!

Eating and running is personal to you – and I strongly advise that you test out things and keep notes – use yourself as a guinea pig!

Re-read the nutrition and distance article in the distance section which talks about figuring out what works best for your body in terms of how much to eat, how long before/after and during a run.


Foods you might like to try:

According to Runtastic they suggest 9 foods which can have a boost on your running speed! These are Bananas, Oats, Peanut butter, Broccoli, Plain yoghurt, dark chocolate (yay!! Chocolate!!), whole grain pasta, coffee and potatoes! That’s a pretty good list isn’t it!

Read the article on Runtastic here. https://www.runtastic.com/blog/en/optimal-performance-the-9-best-foods-for-runners/


According to Active.com carbohydrates will help to provide the right energy for speed with quinoa (pronounced keenwar) being the best.

Read more here https://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/5-foods-to-improve-your-running


What is surprising to me is that Beetroot hasn’t come up in the research I’ve been doing for this article. I watched a fascinating programme that pitted runners who had drunk a beetroot drink and those who had a placebo version and the beetroot group consistently improved their speed.  They even swapped the groups and which ever one drank the beetroot got faster.

If you love research and fancy reading the full thing you can read it here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212267211019484

But if, like me, you prefer the “cliff notes” version then the Telegraph does quite a good job of summarising it in this article: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9226576/Eating-beetroot-may-improve-running-speed-research.html

Essentially eating beetroot will help to increase your nitrate levels which in turn can increase your speed. It particularly seems to help towards the end of a run (or if it’s a distance run 2-3 hours post consumption)

If you like your nutrition facts easy to understand and LOVE beetroots you might like to take a look at Dr Gregor’s Nutrition Facts.org as he talks about beets (the original study) and also how they tested to see whether more was better or provided even greater results. (spoiler alert: it isn’t!)

AND he even has a 16-part series on nitrates! Yay!



In a nutshell

To sum up:

You’ll want to get plenty of carbohydrates into your body to help provide the energy. If you can good fats (peanut butter) excellent and you can stimulate your system with caffeine and dark chocolate!

If you want to increase your vascular capacity, then foods high in nitrates (like beetroots) will give you a boost!

Something like beetroot and potato salad, with coffee and a chunk of dark chocolate before a run could be a great start!

Let me know how you get on and post any questions or comments you have in the Facebook group!