Although there’s no need to follow a strict diet like professional athletes, you should make sure you eat the right food before you go hill running. Steer clear of saturated fats and heavy meals and drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated. The following foods will also help:
Bananas. Packed with goodness, they help boost potassium levels in your blood to make up for the potassium lost when running. An oat milk, banana and cinnamon (to help balance blood sugar) smoothie makes a great breakfast if you plan on going for a morning run. You can also drink it after doing exercise, as it helps you get your strength back and combats hunger pangs before lunch.
Nuts. A handful of nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, pistachio nuts…) before going for a run gives you an energy boost. Packed with heart-friendly fats and calories, as well as vitamins, fibre, proteins and carbohydrates, a handful is quite enough—or else their high fat content might make you feel full when running.
Oats. A miracle superfood for any activity. It contains six of the eight essential amino acids and slow-burning complex carbohydrates, which provide long-lasting energy and vitality.
Eggs. A source of complex proteins, as well as a good amount of amino acids. Ideal for helping your muscles recover after a long run.
Cherries. They’re not in season for long, so make the most of them. As powerful anti-inflammatories, they help prevent dreaded aches and pains.
Salmon and tuna. Both are sources of proteins, which provide muscles with the amino acids they need, and are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which act as anti-inflammatories.
Red berries. Packed with anti-oxidants and lots of vitamins. Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are also deliciously versatile and can be added to smoothies and salads.
Plenty of water. If you’re planning on a long run, you should drink isotonic drinks to replace the minerals lost on the run. Alcohol and sugary drinks are strictly forbidden.
What to avoid. It’s common sense, but there’s no harm in repeating it: avoid mass-produced baked goods, processed products, sauces and fatty foods.