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A runner's guide to eating

HealthBy Sunday World
A runner's guide to eating

Running is many people's go-to form of exercise because it's free and you don't need anything but kit to get involved. That doesn't mean it comes without its risks though, as any hardened jogger who's experienced the intense hunger which comes after a long run will attest to.

So when should you be eating if you're into running? And what are the best foods to go for? Sports nutritionist Lauren Antonucci cites protein as one of the most important substances to consume. It's well known that munching some after your run is a good idea because it helps your muscles repair themselves quicker. But actually you should try upping your general intake too, adding things like eggs and tofu to all your meals. If you want a speedy hit to help your muscles recover after you've been pounding the pavements, whey powder is a good solution because it's rich in the nine amino acids that work on muscle repair and preservation.

Lauren reiterated the importance of eating quickly after a run to shape.com. As explained above it is good for muscles but has long-term benefits too - even if you don't feel like it, munching once you're home will ensure you don't have as big an appetite later in the day.

The expert also advises taking a snack with you when you're doing a long run, with carbs her choice. Again these will give your muscles a boost as you run, plus they will keep blood sugar levels even. You can also try sports drinks which will give you electrolytes to keep you hydrated and stop cramps, and don't forget good old-fashioned water too!

On top of that, look at the rest of your diet. Things like essential fats will keep your body fit so you'll be less susceptible to injury and antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables help your body get over a run quicker.

It's easy to get caught up in all this, but don't let running become too much of a chore. It's one of the more fun forms, so don't forget that. Use your daily run to explore your neighbourhood, trying out different routes as much as you can. It's also a great period to reflect on your life, whether that's thinking about ways to overcome work issues or what you want to achieve long term. And set yourself goals too - you'll be surprised by how much you can achieve if you push yourself.

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