RUNNING AND DIET: OUR WELL-BEING TIPS

Everyone agrees: running is relaxing, invigorating and energising. But running alone is not enough to ensure well-being. It also depends on your diet, lifestyle, sleep etc. In order to ensure health and well-being every day, you need to combine these elements to ensure both physical and mental calm.

STRUCTURE YOUR MEALS

In order to ensure an effective day, combining running and work, you need a proper nutritional structure, with breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner. These various meals are points of reference which will help you to regulate your food intake. You may choose to fit in an extra snack around your exercise, depending on your time of departure.

- Breakfast: It replenishes your energy reserves - don't forget that you have been fasting since the previous evening. It also helps to satisfy your morning energy needs, whether physical or intellectual. What is a balanced breakfast? A drink, a cereal product (bread, a bowl of cereal), a dairy product and a piece of fruit or fruit juice.

- Lunch and dinner: these meals must contain a vegetable, some carbohydrates, some meat or fish or egg. This combination will vary depending on the time of your race. For example, you should give priority to carbohydrates for meals following physical activity.

- Snack: let us be clear: this is not a traditional snack! It is considered a separate meal, provided that it is balanced and not solely composed of sugar. Balanced means including a cereal product, a drink and some fruit.

Don't forget, if you want to lose weight, then starving yourself to reach your goal is a real mistake. The snack is crucial and will help you improve the distribution of the calories you will need during the day.

Did you know? The actual time spent on your meals is also important. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to receive the signals from your stomach to let you know that you have eaten enough. Take the time to enjoy your meal!

 

DON'T NEGLECT HYDRATION

Hydratation en course à pied

You will be well aware of the fact that hydration is essential for a balanced diet. Water is crucial to regulate body temperature and eliminate the waste produced during exertion.

Every day, the body loses around 3 litres of water, through urine, perspiration, digestion and respiration, along with the losses associated with physical effort. We believe that your diet will provide around 1.5 litres of water and that you will need to add another 1.5 to 2 litres of drinks. Drink throughout the day, in small quantities.

 

HOW TO EAT PROPERLY BEFORE A RACE?

Many of us often fit in our jogging around a meal, either between midday and 2 p.m. or in the evening after work. Do we need to eat before or after exercise and what do we need to eat to ensure our sessions are effective?

Having a meal before a running session is not ideal. A common mistake is to eat too much before exercise, leading to a heavy feeling in the stomach and discomfort.

- If you run in the afternoon or in the evening, you will need to prepare your body for the effort. You should eat something 1 hour before you start: a piece of fruit or stewed fruit or a cereal bar. After your run, take the time to eat something else to ensure you recover properly and can enjoy your afternoon. Prioritise carbohydrates together with protein and vegetables, with a dairy product and/or some fruit for afters. Example of a quick meal: balanced sandwich (granary bread, peppered fresh cheese, grilled chicken, slices of tomato, green salad), yoghurt, apple.

- If you are running in the morning, have a light breakfast that is easily digested and won't interfere with your exercise. Example: a hot drink, a fruit juice or stewed fruit, a cereal product and a dairy product. Avoid overly fatty products which will be difficult to digest, such as spreads or pastries.

 

THE OPTIMUM FOODS FOR WELL-BEING

In combination with your diet and running sessions, consider eating some healthy produce:

- Royal jelly and honey: produce from the hive is perfect for tackling fatigue and le stress. Have a sugary tea with a teaspoon of honey.

- Cocoa: a magic ingredient, rich in antioxidants. Anti-stress with magnesium and great for well-being with serotonin. Choose cocoa powder or 70 or 85% dark chocolate to limit fat intake.

- Oat flakes: oats are particularly nutritious, rich in minerals, protein and fibres. Rich in carbohydrates, oats can help combat fatigue. Eating oat flakes for breakfast will also help reduce your morning cravings!

- Cod liver: needs no introduction! There is no richer source of vitamin D than cod liver oil, making it a fantastic anti-depressant. This is a vital vitamin which we often lack, above all in winter due to the absence of sunlight. make sure you take come cod liver oil during the winter.

- Tea: white, green or black, it is exactly the same plant, but treated differently. White tea is the most 'natural', i.e. the closest to the fresh tea leaf. Green tea has been heated and fermented a little. Black tea has been heated and is highly fermented. At this stage, it loses some of its antioxidant properties, but keeps its detox and anti-fatigue qualities. Choose whichever tea you most enjoy.

Marie Fauchille

This article was written by Marie Fauchille, dietician and nutritionnist.

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