Running Club Nutrition
Running Club Nutrition Information
Especially in September, the kids will sweat a lot. It’s not unheard of to have 90 degree days in September. Therefore, it’s important that they rehydrate during the day after their training. I encourage them to drink Gatorade as opposed to water. Gatorade has the right amount of sugar (14 grams per serving – most juices are 30+ grams) as well as electrolytes to replenish what was lost during training. I don’t encourage Powerade as it has too many ingredients (compared to Gatorade) and that may upset the stomach. I also advise against juice. It’s too thick in sugar and therefore, takes too long to digest and be absorbed by the body. Soda is definitely a bad choice. Actually, it’s probably the worst. The carbonation and citric acid combined with the outlandish amount of sugar (30+ in some cases) will wreak havoc in the digestive tract. Also, all cola soda contains phosphoric acid (so does Gatorade RAIN). This stymies the use of stored oxygen in the muscles and contributes to bone decay.
These kids will be burning many more calories as a result of training than their friends who are not involved with running club. As a result, they will need more food. I encourage them to bring a snack such as granola bars (2), bagels and bananas. (Bananas are a superior source of potassium which is essential in running. They also lack the citric acid found in tropical fruit that can cause an upset stomach.) A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is outstanding. The protein in the peanut butter rebuilds the muscles and the sugar from the jelly will allow the body’s insulin to place the protein and carbs from the bread in the working muscles.
The most important part of eating after running however, is to do it once the body has calmed down (at least 30 - 45 minutes after running has ended). If food is ingested sooner, the stomach isn’t ready to digest it properly and it won’t be absorbed into the body. That is why eating and walking isn’t a good thing to do. The body isn’t calm and it can’t properly absorb the food that is ingested. You’ll be on the potty in an hour!! Wait until your body has slowed down before you eat.
These kids are going to be burning so many calories that having some junk here and there won’t affect them too much (as far as body fat accumulation goes). It may however, dampen performance. Candy won’t give you energy like a sandwich will and it certainly won’t replenish the energy lost from training.
Best Foods for Training:
Foods that are high in complex carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, cereal, breads (not doughnuts), bagels, English muffins, toast, granola bars, waffles and pancakes (with lite syrup) are ideal.. These foods give your body the energy it needs for long distance running.
Foods that are high in protein such as deli meat (not bologna), eggs (hardboiled are good snacks), peanut butter, milk and cheese (another good snack) rebuild the muscles after a workout.
It would be good for the kids to eat a little bit before they come to running club in the morning. A granola bar, a banana, ½ of a bagel (don’t load on the cream cheese), toast, dry cereal (cheerios are good) or even a small bowl of cereal with milk would be good choices. It helps the body to have a little bit of food in the system before running. It will also help them if they drink before they come. The more hydrated they are before running, the easier it is to run. I’m not saying that they should pound a 20oz. bottle of Gatorade but, to have some water in their body before running will definitely help. A cup or two of water or Gatorade should do the trick.