Recovery and running performance: 10 nutritional tips


Food provides everything the body needs to live and run in the form of nutrients: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. This is why the Greeks, like Hippocrates, thought that food could be our medicine. Today we give you 10 nutritional tips to “increase” your running performance and your recovery.

Nutritional advice: carbohydrates for the driving energy of effort

Among energy nutrients, carbohydrates (or sugars) are our main source of energy. Stored in the form of glycogen, they improve performance, delay the onset of fatigue due to the depletion of energy reserves and improve recovery.

1 / Train better with carbohydrates.

One study found that a mixed diet comprising 250 to 350 g of carbohydrates per day led to a gradual decrease in glycogen stores, while another diet comprising 500 to 600 g of carbohydrates per day favored a complete restoration of glycogen stores. glycogen between each session. Cereal-based products such as bread, starches, legumes are particularly rich in carbohydrates.

2 / Optimize your carbohydrate intake during exercise

Several studies have established that optimal carbohydrate intake is between 1 and 1.5 g / minute or between 60 and 90 g / hour. Furthermore, the International Federation of Athletics recommends eating frequently but in moderation during exercise, providing about 60 g of carbohydrates for each hour of competition in order to never exhaust too much the important glycogen stores and not to create excessive states of fatigue. , slow post-exercise recovery process and promote the onset of injury.

3 / Pay attention to the glycemic index

The glycemic index can be defined as the ability of a food to raise blood sugar, which is the level of glucose in the blood. The reference index quite often used is that of white bread and is equal to 100, the maximum glycemic index. However, the higher the index, the more foods lead to a significant increase in the sugar level, immediately causing a strong secretion of insulin, the role of which is to lower this sugar level.

For the runner it is important, in the minutes and hours before the effort, to ingest foods with a medium-low glycemic index to contain the increase in blood sugar and therefore the secretion of insulin. When insulin is secreted in small amounts, it can carry glucose into cells to store in the form of glycogen.

4 / Bet on fructose

Mainly present in the fruits then the honey and agave syrupfructose is a sugar with a very low glycemic index that has several advantages: participation in the production and storage of glycogen, prevention of the risk of hypoglycemia, promotion of the assimilation of minerals and improvement of recovery if ingested after a session.


Proteins: the allies of recovery

Like carbohydrates and lipids, proteins are energy nutrients. Their main interest is to supply amino acids, essential elements for the formation and renewal of our body tissues; starting with our cells and muscles.

5 / Eat proteins

Practicing a long-term sport such as Running requires an increase in protein intake of up to 1.6g of protein / day / kilo. Consumed during exercise, protein promotes faster recovery of muscle tissue, helping you to recover and train better! The best proteins are those provided by meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.

6 / Drink chocolate milk after exercise

CERIN, Center for Research and Nutritional Information, claims that the consumption of milk, and more precisely of chocolate milk, after physical and sporting activity improves VO2max and body composition and promotes better rehydration.

nutritional advice
Chocolate milk is an ideal solution to improve recovery after exercise.

7 / Opt for amino acids

Also called BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids), amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Since they are not stored by the body but directly used to produce enzymes, proteins and many hormones, it is necessary to provide them regularly and in sufficient quantities in our diet: red meat, dairy products, white meat, fish or eggs.

Their consumption plays an important role in improving recovery by preventing the breakdown of amino acids and glycogen in the muscles. reducing the perception of post-exercise fatigue and pain. The recommended dosage is 1 g before and after each workout; ideally when the training load is very important and in a 3 week cure.

Glutamine is also a branched amino acid which has a positive effect on muscle recovery and immune defenses. According to a study, glutamine could help prevent, or at least reduce, the severity of infections contracted after a period of strenuous exercise, thus allowing the athlete to recover more quickly and, at the same time, to reconnect with strenuous training.


Mineral salts and trace elements: fight central and peripheral fatigue

8 / Precious minerals

Essential elements for our body, minerals each play a specific role.

  • the magnesium firstly, it inhibits neuromuscular transmission by decreasing the release of acetylcholine and reducing the release of adrenaline. Thus it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. It is found mainly in cashews, pecans and walnuts then whole grains, spinach, bananas, chocolate.
  • the sodium and potassium their function is to control the distribution and exchange of water between intracellular and extracellular water, and therefore to promote the transmission of nerve impulses. The latter is particularly present in the meat, fish, legumes, vegetables or even fruit and nuts.
  • Finally, the soccer it is essential for blood clotting, energy transformation in cells and muscle contraction. It is found mainly in dairy products, eggs, some mineral waters, legumes and vegetables.
nutritional advice
Oilseeds and dairy products are rich in nutrients.

9 / Iron health

the iron it is essential for the transport of oxygen and the formation of cells (mainly red blood cells). However, endurance sports and menstruation increase iron losses up to 4 times. To correct or prevent anemia, it is therefore essential to try to ingest foods rich in iron, and even more so in bioavailable iron: meat, fish, liver, legumes, whole grains, oil seeds or even chocolate ! To promote iron absorption, it is recommended to ingest vitamin C (citrus and red fruits) and lemon juice at the same time.

10 / Hydration: key to performance

Hydration is essential for every human being as water is the most important element in the human body, i.e. 45 to 60% of body weight. Water has multiple functions at the level of the body and in particular that of the sportsman cell nutrition, body temperature maintenance, muscle work, blood volume maintenance….

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