A blog by runners. For runners.

The top foods and drinks for runners

The best foods and drinks for runnersIf you’re looking to improve your health, increase your energy, and perk up your running (and really, who isn’t?), try adding one (or all) of these seven foods and drinks to your diet.

With 35 grams of protein per 4 ounce serving, salmon is an excellent choice pre- or post-race. Salmon is also one of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties known to speed-up tissue recovery. Studies have also found Omega-3s act as a natural painkiller for those suffering from arthritis-caused joint pain.

  • Not a fan? Eat this instead: Don’t eat fish? Try flaxseeds or walnuts. While the exact type of Omega 3s these foods offer differ, they are still beneficial to runners.

Pinto beans
Pinto beans are a phenomenal source of protein for vegetarians that can greatly benefit carnivores as well. One cup of pinto beans offers up to 15 grams of protein and can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to soups.

Green tea
Caffeine can improve performance – especially in endurance runners – by reducing your perceived perception of exertion and improving concentration. If coffee isn’t your thing, grab a mug of green tea. With 25-45 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces vs. 92-200 mg in coffee, green tea can offer a lesser jolt with the same benefits.

  • Not a fan? Eat this instead: Black tea offers similar benefits to green tea.

Bananas are pretty much mandatory at all post-race celebrations. And for good reason! A medium-sized banana contains 12 percent of your daily potassium – which can help prevent cramping – and 20 percent of your vitamin B6 – which is great for your metabolism. Plus, bananas are relatively easy on most runners’ stomachs. Win, win.

  • Not a fan? Eat this instead: If you despise bananas, try avocados (14 percent of your daily potassium) or dried apricots (33 percent of your daily potassium).

One little egg gives you 10 percent of your daily protein needs. What exactly does protein do?  Well, in part, it helps speed up recovery. Eggs are also low in calories and provide healthy HDL fats, which can lower cholesterol.

  • Not a fan? Eat this instead: Tofu has slightly lower amounts of protein but can replace eggs in many recipes, like scrambles or salads.

Kale is so hot right now. It seems everyone is touting it’s awesomeness. So you’re probably not surprised in the slightest to find it here. After all, kale is a great source of vitamin C, A, and K, which helps with bone health, and it is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants.

  • Not a fan? Eat this instead: Sick of kale? Try spinach, swiss chard, or collard greens.

With 90 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and 20 percent recommended daily intake of fiber, oranges are pretty much a super fruit. The citrus rockstar helps protect the skin, regulate blood pressure, fight constipation, oh and protect against cardiovascular disease. NBD.

  • Not a fan? Eat this instead: Red peppers, kiwis, and papaya provide similar amounts of Vitamin C and fiber.

Written bLisa Chase.