Top 5 Foods for Runners

oatmeal with banana

Calling all runners! Want to choose the best fuel for your performance? Here's a top five hit list.

Oatmeal

The fiber in oatmeal helps prevent spikes in blood sugar, giving you energy evenly and consistently--a must for longer distance runs. Oats also tend to be pretty easy on the tummy, another important quality in a pre-workout meal.

Greek Yogurt

A huge part of running comes as soon as the run is over. Eating protein for recovery is vital to replenish energy stores and repair worn out muscles. Greek yogurt is high in protein, plus it has calcium to maintain strong bones.

Bananas

Hungry before your run but don't want anything that will weigh you down? Grab a banana for a balance of energy-producing carbs and B-vitamins, plus potassium and magnesium for active muscles.

This fabulous protein option comes chocked full of omega-3 fats. The heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats benefit cardiovascular health and fight inflammation. Just about all runners will tell you they’re no stranger to swollen and achy muscles and joints.

Chocolate Milk

One of the best recovery foods you can find, chocolate milk offers carbs and protein, plus fluid, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes--everything your body is looking for after a run.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Next Up

Five Surprising Facts About Giada

Giada De Laurentiis' healthy habits are unexpected and fun. Try one out for yourself.

Eating for Your Microbiome

Learn about the microbiome diet, plus some ways you might alter your diet for better gut health, from the experts at Food Network.

Why You Need Iron

Find out why this mineral is so essential, and how you can make sure you're getting enough.

Importance of Healthy Fats

How much fat should you eat each day, and what does it do? Find out.

The Health Benefits of Juicing

Do the health benefits of juicing live up to the hype? Find out.

Why You Need Protein

This important nutrient helps your body build and repair itself. Find out how much you need each day.

Why You Need Healthy Carbs

Carbohydrates give your body energy — learn about the different kinds and how much you need.

Eddie Jackson's Pre- and Post-Workout Snacks

Find out which healthy snacks chef, trainer and former NFL player Eddie Jackson recommends eating before and after a workout.

Dietary Fiber: Why We Need Fiber

Fiber helps you feel full and maintain a healthy weight, plus it can help lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Choosing the Right Meats

Grilling is one of the lightest ways to cook, but to keep it that way, pick leaner meats. Make healthy meal choices with these tips from Food Network.

Related Pages