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Essential running fuel tips

August 2, 2017

race nutrition tips

With just eight weeks until the Boudavida Women’s 10K Windsor Run, now is the time to up your game and start thinking about your food intake to ensure you can go the distance.

Here are our top tips for keeping yourself fuelled on your run:

1. Watch what you’re eating

Break your daily meals down into protein, carbohydrates and fats:

  • Protein – is essential for your muscles to repair after running; the longer the run, the more repair work for your muscles afterwards. It is recommended that you consume protein post-run, as that is when the essential repair work takes place. Your protein should be high quality, with good sources coming from chicken, tofu, lean beef, milk, eggs, nuts or fish.  
  • Fats – when we say fats, we mean heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, flax seed oil, or avocados. These fats are good for your heart and immune system, and act as a secondary energy source after carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrates – are the energy source that keep you going during your run. Aim for complex carbohydrates as they release slowly and steadily so that you have a more consistent source of energy rather than a sharp spike and then rapid decline. Complex carbs include wholegrains, vegetables and sweet potatoes.

2. Pre-race meal

Ideally on the days you go out running, you should aim to eat a meal rich in complex carbohydrates up to two hours before the run. This will make sure your energy levels are fully stocked up and ready to be used (porridge is often a popular option). Watch your fibre intake; although fibre is really good for digestion and gut health, consuming high-fibre foods before a run should be avoided. You don’t want to be digesting during a run and need to run to the toilet, trust us!

3. Eat for recovery

After finishing your run, eat a meal rich in both protein and complex carbohydrates within 30 minutes to an hour. Doing so ensures that the protein can get to work on repairing the muscles, and the carbs can start replenishing the energy stores.

4. Drink more water

Being dehydrated can increase the risk of muscle cramp and affect electrolyte balance in cells. Keeping hydrated will keep you energised.

5. Stick with what you know, especially before a race

You don’t want to try out a new breakfast on the morning of your race as you don’t know how it is going to affect you. If you do want to try out different food options, do it on the days of your training runs and pay close attention to how they make you feel. You’ll soon be able to figure out which foods don’t cause any digestion issues, and help you feel your best during your run.

Meridian Foods is our official nutrition partner, and they have the perfect breakfast recipe to help set you up for a long morning run. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Cinnamon Porridge

Packed with creamy oats, with a swirl of peanut butter and sprinkle of pumpkin and flax seeds – you will have covered the three essentials as named above. Complex carbohydrates? Tick. Protein? Tick. Fats? Tick. You will be off for a fast start.

Full recipe can be found here.

Places are filling fast for the Boudavida Women’s 10k. To sign up and secure your place visit https://www.windsorwomens10k.com/

Photo by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

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