If you are looking at beating your personal best you need to look at your training, your race day planning, your fitness and of course your fuel. What you eat before you start your run can have a significant effect on your performance which is why you should consider including these foods.
A personal favourite of mine and more versatile than you’d think, oatmeal offers a slow and constant supply of energy (it is a low GI food) which will keep you going throughout your run. Oats also offer a boost of vitamin B, magnesium and selenium, making it a good all-rounder. Overnight oats with yogurt and fruit, homemade oat bakes, oats in your smoothie….. all of these are tasty ways to fuel your run effectively in a way that tastes great.
Cup of Tea?
Green tea is something of a wonder drink and while strictly speaking it isn’t a food it certainly deserves to be on this list. Alongside other pre-run snacks and meals green tea helps to regulate blood sugar levels (sugar crashes are not so helpful during a run), contains caffeine for an energy boost and of course aids hydration. Japanese research suggests that drinking green tea could result in as much as a 24% increase in endurance. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to try it out as part of your pre-race / practice run routines.
Tasty and easy to eat on the go fresh fruits that are easier to digest are packed with energy-giving goodness as well as aiding your race-day hydration. Vitamin B and C are found in a number of fresh fruits and of course, fruit can be delicious and also prepared in a number of ways. This is perhaps the healthiest way to give yourself an energy-providing sugar hit.
Eat Your Greens
Packed with valuable nutrients which offer energy, aid recovery, and taste great, dark leafy greens also contain nitrates which are known to help runners with their endurance and their speed. Best enjoyed two hours before the start of your run / event dark leafy greens are great steamed, boiled, stir-fried, in smoothies and more.
Believe it or not, beetroot could make you run faster. A study conducted by the ST Louis University found that runners who had consumed beetroot as opposed to a second test group who consumed another food showed increased stamina. These results were attributed to the nitrates that beetroot contains
There are a number of ways to increase your speed and boost your endurance via training and of course this will have the biggest effect. That said, if altering your pre-race diet somewhat to include these foods gives you an edge which will help you shave a second or two off your personal best, why wouldn’t you?