Nutritional Guide For Beginner Runners

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Nutrition is important in any stage and experience of running.

When you are just starting out, it can be confusing. Reading nutritional guides can be perplexing, and running plans are not always clear about what kind of nutrition can guide you to healthier running.

As a beginner runner, proper nutrition can help you avoid common running injuries and will keep your body feeling healthy and refreshed after a good run.

Learn what kind of nutrition is important for your body and how you can equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to be the best runner you can be.


What Kinds of Nutrition You Need

There are several kinds of nutrition that are important for a runner. You need nutrition that can replenish the systems within your body, so you can aid muscle strength and stamina. When you can keep your body happy and healthy, you will be able to achieve more as a runner.

The Deal with Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an important macronutrient for your body, and comes in more food than just pasta and bread. Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds all have carbohydrates that give your body the extra boost it needs for running.

Complex-carbohydrates are considered the more important part for replenishing what your body needs. Complex-carbohydrates consist of fiber and starch that slowly break down in the body that helps create more energy to burn off while exercising. Brown rice, beans, sweet potatoes, bananas, leafy greens, whole wheat, cabbage, and broccoli all contain the complexity of carbs that your body needs for better energy.


The Importance of Protein

The best protein is through natural foods, but supplements can also assist your body in getting the proper amount of protein. You should be consuming somewhere between 0.5 grams and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of your body weight.

Protein heals your muscles quicker and prevents potential injury. High-protein intake also keeps your immune system strong for better respiratory health, which makes breathing while running a whole lot easier.

Good protein to include in your meals are eggs, nuts, milk, lean chicken, grass-fed beef, turkey, fish, soy protein, and whey protein. Whether you are choosing to eat natural foods, or need the boost of whey protein, your body will be able to function better with the right amount of protein.


The Misunderstanding of Fats

Fats used to be rather a taboo subject. Runners would starve themselves of fats for the purpose of maintaining a race weight. However, new research reveals that healthy fats in moderation actually help your body.

Studies now show that healthy fats can help the body function better, and assist female athletes who suffer from athletic amenorrhea or symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).

Healthy fats include avocado, peanut butter, seeds, fish, nuts, eggs, dairy products, and even dark meats. Healthy fats help you absorb nutrients into your system, which gives you more energy for running.


The Need For Hydration

Without proper hydration, your body would not be able to move the nutrients properly through your body. Experts say you should be consuming between 2 and 2.5 litres of water a day.

However, many foods also contain a good amount of water that can contribute to your needed amount of hydration. Foods such as cucumber, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, bell peppers, lettuce, carrots, mango, celery, and yogurt all can keep your body healthily hydrated.

Hydration is a critical part of being a runner. Without good hydration, your body will not be able to perform well. Always monitor what your body needs and drink water when you feel thirsty. With good hydration and better nutrition, you will be able to start out running with a healthy body and mindset.


Easy Beginner Meals

After knowing what kind of nutrition you need, try out these easy beginner meals for runners that can keep your body healthily motivated for running.


Try a breakfast bowl with steel cut oats, a mix of berries and fruit, chia seeds, and your choice of nuts. Add your kind of milk and serve!



For lunch, consider making a quinoa power bowl that can give you better energy for exercise. Make quinoa and add it with roasted vegetables, avocado, shredded lean chicken, and top it off with a fried egg. Add salsa or hummus for a choice of sauce.

Check out the complete recipe at


Dinner you want to complete your meals for the day with a packed bowl of protein. Try a protein and greens power bowl that includes raw kale, cooked sweet potato, shredded chicken, avocado, and fresh lemon.

You can find the complete recipe www.

Start Out Right

Start your running routine with great meals that can help boost your athletic performance and lead you to a healthier lifestyle. Try out meal bowls, smoothies, or even a runner's recipe book to guide you to better nutrition as a runner.

With the right nutrition and hydration, your body will be feeling stronger, faster, and healthier.


Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe

Bethany Widdicombe is a runner at heart, a researcher by nature, and a writer by passion. Having traveled across the world, she continues to be an advocate for awareness and knowledge that empowers people to a better life. You can now find her running out on the trail, or nestled away writing her next article.

Portland, OR