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- Getting the correct nutrition is an important factor in ensuring that you stay fit and healthy when participating in a sport such as running. If progress is to be made the correct types of food and liquids must be taken at the right time in the right quantities. The correct combination will be along the lines of a mix of fat (15-25%), protein (15-25%) and simple/complex carbohydrates (60-70%). Eating the wrong foods could damage your health. One should also drink 2-3 litres of water a day and more in hotter periods.
- Running consumes more calories than many other forms of exercise and it is essential that these calories are replaced. Running burns up approximately 100 calories per mile and will also increase ones metabolic rate (the rate at which the body converts food to energy).
- It is also important to ensure that you get the correct levels of vitamins and minerals which can also have an impact on how you feel when exercising For example, iron helps the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen to the muscle cells and vitamin C speeds up the healing and production of connective tissue. These should be obtained through a balanced diet but supplements are available.
- It is best to eat before exercise but give time for the food to digest. If taking part in longer runs it may be helpful to eat easily digestible foods while on the run to restore ebbing energy levels. However it is important to replenish the energy levels following exercise as quickly as possible.
- Poor nutrition will result in slower recovery from training runs and lower the immune system leaving the runner open to injury and illness. This risk will be reduced through good dietary habits.