Fuel your workouts, recovery and weight-loss results with these best foods for runners.
WHEN YOU’RE running for weight loss, putting one foot in front of the other is only half of the equation. And when we say “half,” we really mean more like one-fourth. Maybe one-third.
That’s because, while running certainly burns calories and the right running program can also build muscle to help you increase your metabolism, the calories that you consume still matter, says registered dietitian nutritionist Jessica Crandall, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Denver-based runner. “Many runners overestimate how many calories they burn during their workouts, and end up over-fueling as a result, which leads to weight gain, not loss,” she says.
Meanwhile, how you get those calories (aka: what foods you eat) determines exactly how much fat you burn during every run, how your muscles recover, if your metabolism gets a boost from your workout and, ultimately, what you get out of your entire running routine.
So, if you’re running to lose weight, add these eight foods to your fueling plan:
Move over, bananas. One cup of sliced avocado contains almost twice as much potassium as does a whole banana. Potassium, an important electrolyte that helps you run harder, longer, is lost through your sweat, so it’s important to refuel after your runs. Plus, they are brimming with mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, of which most people don’t actually get enough of to lose weight, says certified strength and conditioning specialist Albert Matheny, co-owner of SoHo Strength Lab in NYC and a registered dietitian for ProMix Nutrition. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition even links higher intake levels with lower body mass indexes and levels of abdominal fat.