9 foods to help you run for longer - Women's Running

9 foods to help you run for longer

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  October 16, 2014

Long, strenuous runs will take their toll on your body, so it’s important to choose foods that not only sustain energy levels, but are also rich in antioxidants, protein and anti-inflammatories to help you recover faster. Here are some of the best foods to pile on your plate.

Packed with soluble fibre and slow-releasing carbohydrates, oats are the perfect fuel to sustain energy levels. They are also packed with energy-boosting B vitamins and magnesium, as well as antioxidants and beta glucans, to strengthen your immune system. Try porridge one to two hours before a run.


Chia seeds
These tiny black seeds pack a serious nutritional punch. Rich in soluble fibre, carbs and protein, chia seeds help stabilise blood sugar levels during longer training sessions. Great for recovery, they are packed with bone-friendly calcium, omega-3 fats and contain more antioxidants than blueberries.

Chia seeds

A favourite pre- or post-training. A great source of easy-to-digest carbohydrate, they provide instant energy before a run without causing digestive upset. They are also an excellent source of potassium, an electrolyte lost through sweat, which helps maintain muscle function.


This gluten-free grain provides a great combination of complete protein and slow-releasing carbohydrate, making it ideal for clocking up the miles. Quinoa provides plenty of energy-boosting magnesium, iron and B vitamins, plus the minerals zinc and calcium. Enough said!


Sweet potatoes
If you’re looking for some healthy, nutrient-dense carbs, try a sweet potato. They are also packed with antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Gentle on the digestive system and rich in soluble fibre, they are the perfect food to maintain energy levels.

Sweet potato

Coconut oil
Coconut oil a wonderful energy source for endurance runners. Coconut oil is also rich in immune-system supporting compounds, such as lauric acid. Try adding it to smoothies, using it in cooking or stirring into porridge.

Coconut oil

Beetroot is packed with nutrients to support energy production, plus antioxidants for recovery. Its high nitrate content helps the body to utilise oxygen more efficiently, enhancing stamina and endurance. Beetroot juice is now a popular pre-exercise choice for marathon runners.


Berries and cherries
Antioxidant-rich cherries and berries provide a tremendous range of health benefits for runners, due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So tuck in!


Super greens
Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are the perfect energising food. Rich in calcium, iron and chlorophyll, these greens help energise the body to improve endurance.


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