5 Foods Every Runner Should Eat

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For me, there’s nothing like running outside! It’s hard to beat the feeling of being one with nature—the sun on my skin, the wind at my back, and the mountain air in my lungs (yup, I live in the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada!). Not only do I enjoy running outdoors, but I’m also passionate about any exercise outside.

Physical activity is a big part of my life, and together with my 80/20 rule of eating living foods, makes me who I am today. Yes, I’m big into mountaineering, but the feeling of hitting the trails for a good run is hard to beat, especially in the warmer months. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the awesome weather wherever you live, and get outside for a daily jog—or 20 kilometres!

Because running takes a toll on the body, it’s important to fuel yourself with the right foods to stay energized. I know some of you are distance runners, and when you’re pushing your body to the limits, it’s extra important that you’re consuming the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. There are a lot of unhealthy foods out there marketed to runners, but I’ve found that simplicity is best: when you bring it back to whole, plant-based foods, your body thrives!

5 Foods Every Runner Should Eat

The amount of calories you need to consume depends on the length and intensity of your run; you need to eat enough to stay energized, but not too much that you feel weighed down! Between pre-run, mid-run and post-run food, there’s a lot to consider—especially when you want to make nutritious choices.


These are the foods you should be eating no sooner than two hours before your run. Complex carbohydrates work well for most people, because they’re your source of endurance, providing the body with glycogen. Carbs also turn into sugar faster than protein or fat, which means you get the energy boost you need!

BANANAS: Bananas are high in carbohydrates and high in potassium (which is lost in sweat during exercise). Potassium also helps prevent cramping, and the sugars in the banana will be sure to give you energy.

QUINOA: You already know that quinoa is my secret weapon grain. A complete protein (and protein helps rebuild muscle), a complex carbohydrate, and super easy to digest, quinoa is a pretty perfect food. It’ll help fuel your workout, and the fibre it contains will make you feel full longer.


If you’re planning to run for more than 90 minutes, you’re going to want to replace the energy you’ll burn, or your run will be over before it starts! Most people suggest starting to snack at about the 45 minute mark, and then every 30 minutes or so for long distance running.

DATES: Dates are an all-natural simple sugar, perfect for mid-run fueling and super easy to transport. Give them a shot instead of those artificial energy gummies! Or, make my 2 Ingredient Power Bar Recipe with dates and hemp seeds to get a simple sugar and protein burst. Stick a few squares in your pocket and you’re good to go!


After a big run, you’ve gotta replenish your energy with protein and carbs to help rebuild muscle and glycogen. Most people use a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.

ALMOND BUTTER: Combined with sweet, high-fibre apple slices to help stabilize blood sugar, almond butter provides protein, vitamin E and magnesium. Or, check out my brand new recipe and slather some almond butter onto a big slice of my Runner’s Recovery Bread for a super-food bonanza!

HUMMUS: Hummus is full of protein and fibre, and when combined with veggies, provides an awesome post-run recovery snack. If you want to double your nutrients, whip up my Almond Butter Vegetable Dip, a tasty combination of almonds and chickpeas that can be eaten year-round!

When you fuel your workouts with power foods, you treat your body to their nutrient-dense, energy-replenishing properties! So, are you ready to trade in your artificial energy shots for some of the foods above? Let me know what your favourite runner’s foods are in the comments!

See you on the trails!

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About Adam Hart

Adam Hart is the bestselling author of The Power of Food. When not on stage speaking, Adam can be found helping one of his many corporate clients in awakening an abundance of energy through his highly engaging stress management solutions.Contact Adam to book a demo for an enhanced corporate wellness experience.


  1. […] foods before, during and after the run is crucial to performance and recovery. Read about the 5 Foods Every Runner Should Eat, and then make this awesome Runner’s Recovery Bread—full of high-protein, super-digestible […]

  2. […] Whether I am going for a long hike, climb or bike ride, I always make sure I fuel up before, during and after. This way my energy stays consistent throughout the day. I want to share some of my favourite foods that will give you abundant energy on your next outdoor adventure. Check them out in my post – 5 Foods Every Runner Should Eat. […]

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