Looking To Up Your Running Game? Then Fitelo Diet Plan For Runners Is Best

Snehil Sharma

Snehil Sharma
Feb 2023

2 min read
Diet Plan For Runner

Table of content

Running requires a mindful approach to food since everything we eat, and drink has a direct impact on our performance. Being a runner does not just involve hard training but also there are countless other components that we need to incorporate into our daily lives. Along with following a proper diet plan for runners, sound sleep, proper running technique, and physical therapy are also crucial.

So, here in this blog, we have compiled the best advice on how to fuel your run by including the right energy source, a smart hydration strategy, ideal timing techniques, and weight loss tips. Let’s dive deep.


So, let’s jump in!

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Basics Nutrition’s To Take Care In Diet Plan For Runners 

The main three macronutrients essential for the diet plan for runners are:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat
  • Protein

Along with this, consuming a diverse diet will ensure that runners are also obtaining antioxidants and micronutrients, which play a crucial role in muscle function and recovery.

1. Carbohydrates In Diet Plan For Runners

Carbohydrates are the human body’s main energy source and are essential for long-distance running. When runners consume them, their bodies break down dietary carbohydrates into their simplest form, the sugar glucose. And glucose is an important energy source for humans. That’s why the human body needs to produce the energy currency of your cells, called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

When a runner is running, their body may transport glucose to muscle cells as an immediate source of energy. And additional glucose in the bloodstream is sent to the liver and muscle cells to be stored as glycogen. Include carbohydrates rich foods such as fruits, starchy vegetables, bread, pasta, cereal, rice, and legumes.

Do you know that consuming about 60% of your total daily calories from carbohydrates is a good goal for most runners?

2. Fat In Diet Plan For Runners

Stored body fat is another very good fuel source, especially during long-distance running. Generally, runners should aim to get between 25–35% of their total daily calories from mostly unsaturated fats.

Do you know fat is not the first energy source your body rushes to for use, but it is the second? 

Healthy fats will also aid in cardiovascular health, joint health, and brain function. Avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butter, and olive oil are the perfect sources of healthy fats.

Also, dietary fat is less efficient as a workout fuel than carbohydrates. As they are used very often and are more readily available during exercise.

So, ideally consuming fat to empower running, runners may want to eat it as part of a balanced diet to support their body’s functions.

Dietary fat is important for:

  • Healthy Joints
  • Nerve Function
  • Hormone Production
  • General Health

3. Protein In Diet Plan For Runners

Do you know protein is not the primary fuel source for your body during endurance exercise? In fact, it also supports the human body to:

  • Repair Tissue
  • Prevent Injury
  • Muscle Growth and Regrowth
  • Overall Recovery
  • Produce red blood cells ( transport oxygen in the human body)

During running, our muscles break down, which can easily be recovered by refueling the body with protein (as protein helps in rebuilding the muscle). Without lean protein, the muscles are unable to rebuild efficiently, which can increase the risk of injury, and lead to poorer performance. Even many top dietitians also recommend including lean protein in diet plans for runners to lose weight. Additionally, in much research, it is suggested that consuming approximately 0.6–0.9 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day is sufficient for a runner to prevent muscle loss. 

Fuel Rules In Diet Plan For Runners

Running keeps you fit. But to lose weight and keep yourself healthy, focus on what you eat.

  • Eat Natural Food: Packed foods are not healthy to consume. Include foods like chicken, fish, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, etc., which are healthy staples that provide more nutritional value to the human body than highly processed options. Also, preparing natural food yourself gives you more control over your fat, sodium, and calorie intake.
  • Choose Quality Carbs: Including quality carbs in a diet plan for runners is important as they nourish your muscles after the workout. Carbs act as the backbone of runners’ diets. Start including plant-based carbs such as potatoes, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, etc. Consuming these natural carbs will have a healthy impact on your body.
  • Keep A Note: Start writing down everything you eat and drink for a few days to evaluate your eating habits. Keep track of your snacking habits and sugar cravings. Keeping a ledger to identify the areas that can be improved will help you maintain a balanced diet.
  • Allow Cheat Meals: You can allow yourself the occasional dessert or cocktail to satisfy cravings. Indulging in occasional cheat meal will help you keep your urges from becoming binges. But keep an eye on the portions and frequency of your consumption.
  • Maintain Hydration: Fluids are an important part of any runner’s fueling strategy. Staying hydrated will boost performance. Include freshly squeezed juices in your diet plan and avoid sugar-added drinks such as soda, soft drinks, etc. Such drinks that are high in sugar can contribute to weight gain.

Foods To Include And Avoid In Diet Plan For Runners 

The importance of a well-balanced diet becomes even more critical when the body undergoes rigorous wear and tear. Thus, runners, sportsmen, and individuals who are engaged in physical endeavors need to learn about what to consume and what should be avoided.

Foods To Include And Avoid In Diet Plan For Runners 

To Include In Diet Plan For Runners

Let’s have a look to see which foods are beneficial for runners:

1. Banana

After an afternoon run, you need a high-carb energy booster such as a banana. This fruit is a rich source of potassium (about 400 mg). Banana is especially good for long-distance runs or in hot temperatures when the human body sweats a lot. Other than potassium, bananas also have different valuable minerals such as magnesium, sodium, and chloride. 

2. Oatmeal in Diet Plan For Runners

Including oatmeal in your regular diet is the perfect food to increase your running staminaSo, it gives you plenty of carbs and fiber. Consuming oatmeal keeps you feeling full for a long period of time.

3. Peanut Butter in Diet Plan For Runners

Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E and probably the most effective antioxidant among the vitamins. Peanuts contain fat, mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which are low in calories. These can help lower cholesterol levels in the human body. Also, peanut butter has a good amount of protein, which helps your muscles grow.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C and is considered the best food for runners. The presence of vitamin C in this green vegetable helps to reduce the risk of sore muscles after a heavy workout. Apart from being rich in calcium, this vegetable is also a good source of vitamin K and folic acid, which are both good for strengthening bones.

5. Plain Yogurt

Yogurt is the best combination of carbohydrates and proteins. It has a high percentage of important amino acids and protects the human body’s muscles. The calcium present in the yogurt also strengthens the bones. The other health advantage of yogurt is that it contains live lactic acid bacteria (probiotics). These stimulate gut flora and thus boost the immune system.

6. Dark Chocolate

As a runner, you can treat yourself to dark chocolate once in a while. It helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao is perfect for runners to consume. Also, the flavonols (secondary metabolites) present in the chocolate will help reduce inflammation. Even many top dietitians recommend including dark chocolate for weight loss in diet plans.

7. Coffee

According to various studies, a cup of coffee can give your high-intensity interval training (HIIT) a boost. The presence of caffeine in coffee helps the human body run faster and cover training distances in less time. It is considered good to consume black coffee (without sugar and milk) before hitting the ground because it acts as a pre-workout booster for the body.

8. Eggs

Eggs are rich in protein. It provides steady energy to fuel runners’ days and is also rich in vitamin B. These vitamins help digestive enzymes in the process of gaining energy by breaking down foods. So, eggs are one of the perfect foods for runners.

Foods To Avoid in Diet Plan For Runners

So, let’s jump in and know which food we can include in the diet plan for runners.

1. Sugary Sodas

Sugary sodas tend to fill you but eventually cause dehydration and raise sugar cravings. They are also tough to digest and interfere with your energy levels, so it’s best to avoid them as much as you can, as they are the worst foods for runners! Also, you should avoid sugar-added foods when you are on a diet plan for weight loss.

2. Frozen Meals

In today’s lifestyle, people are tempted towards frozen foods. As these are not only convenient but also reasonably light on the pocket. Pick up the wrong packet, and you have given a grand welcome to humongous amounts of calories, sodium, and fat. To prevent yourself from falling into this trap, it’s best to check the labels carefully, especially the serving size of these packets.

3. Dairy Products

Many runners experience stomach pain during the initial days of their training. Gastrointestinal experts suggest that this is primarily because they are lactose intolerant. Such runners find it difficult to digest dairy products such as milk, cheese, etc. Many runners are unaware of their intolerance until they begin running. Fortunately, for such runners, there are alternative products available on the market, such as almond milk, soy, etc.

4. Energy Drinks

Avoid consuming energy drinks if you intend to go for the long run. Most energy drinks are loaded with sugar, and some even contain caffeine, which can create an urgency to urinate.

Excessive consumption of caffeine can also cause runners’ heart rates to pump up and increase stress levels. Therefore, it’s always better to keep yourself light as you gear up for a big run and ensure that you are adequately hydrated through regular consumption of water.

5. Oily And Fatty Food Items

Fats hold a crucial place on the food platter but also tend to sit in the stomach and take a long time to digest. These food items also tend to make you sluggish, as the body has to work hard to digest them. Thus, items like cheese and butter should be avoided before a run, as they tend to make you feel uncomfortable.

6. Spicy Food

While spicy food is good to boost your metabolism, it’s not a great idea when you are gearing up for the long run. Spicy foods can interfere with the gastrointestinal system of our body and even cause heartburn.

7. Nuts

While both the salted and unsalted versions are great for runners, the salted ones are the best bet because runners lose a lot of salt through sweat, so consume these in moderation. Nuts are loaded with calories and can have a significant impact on your waistline. Similarly, dry fruits for weight loss—are also a strict no!

8. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose cannot afford to find a place on your dining table if you are an avid runner. They cause dehydration, increase sugar cravings, and also result in the body weight shooting up. 

A Vegetarian Diet Plan For Runners: Meal Example

Sharing a few meal examples for runners that they can include in their routine diet:

Pre-Run Snack (6:00 AM- 7:00 AM)¼ Cup Oatmeal / 1 medium-sized banana + curd 
Breakfast (9:00 Am – 10: 00 Am)2 whole grain chapati/ bread
2 Whole 1 egg white/ mix vegetable
1 teaspoon of peanut butter/ handful or soaked almonds +walnuts+ falxseed

Mid- Morning Snack (11:00 Am-12:00 noon)
1 Cup yogurt (add basil seeds)/Beetroot + carrot juice.
1 cup green tea (add 4 drops Badam Rogan)/1 tsp peanut butter.
1 cup of strawberries or any other berries available
Lunch (1:00 PM- 2:00 PM)1 bowl of Quinoa / 1 bowl of Paneer bhurji + (chapati or Bread)                                       
Mexican bowl (Combination of Beans+ Salad Leaves+ Red Rice)
 Mid-Afternoon Snack (3:00 PM- 4:00 PM)½ bowl of boiled potatoes (can prepare no spicy chaat)
½ cup blueberries 
cottage cheese 
 Evening Snack (5:00 Pm- 6:00 PM)1 bowl of seasonal fruits
Dinner (8:00 PM- 9:00 PM)1 cup beans/daal 
2 tablespoon cheese /Chickpeas Sauteed in Onion and Garlic  
2 tablespoons desi ghee or olive oil (1 for cooking, 1 for salad dressing) 
1 cup mixed greens salad + 1 cup cooked seasonal vegetable (non-spicy)

Please Note: All the above-mentioned recipes are available on Fitelo Recipe Page. Click to have a look.

A Weight Loss Motivational Story Of Anu

A homemaker who was suffering from thyroid problems and struggling to lose weight. Anu believes that appreciating and respecting your body is essential which is why she approached us. So, let’s find out how Fitelo helped her overweight issue. Read to know her weight loss journey.

A Word From Fitelo On Diet Plan For Runners

Every runner’s body has unique considerations and nutrition needs. It is crucial to properly provide a healthy diet plan for runners that include nutrients while training and recovering so that runners can feel and perform at their best. It may happen that what works for one runner may be different than what works for other runners, so it is also important to track food intake and how it is prepared. Keeping all this in mind, you can get a solid understanding of how nutrition is affecting the body.

Fun Fact

Pizza is one of the most common cravings you have while on a diet, and you are waiting for that cheat day to arrive as soon as possible. Surprisingly, there are a lot of healthier and more satisfying options available. However, for your convenience, we made a list of healthy swaps for Domino’s that you can have while enjoying your cheat day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Long Should You Wait After Eating To Run?

Ans: Approx half an hour you should wait after having a small meal before you run. 

Q: What Should A Marathon Runner Eat?

Ans: Runners should always focus on food quality. A marathon runner’s diet is not all about macronutrient ratios, but having fully nutritious food is also required.

Q: What To Avoid Eating As A Runner?

Ans: As a runner, you should avoid eating beans, broccoli, and berries.

Q: What Is The Best Fruit For Runners?

Ans: The perfect fruit for runners are cherries, bananas, berries, and oranges. The presence of potassium in bananas can help with electrolyte replenishment, while also providing easy digestion and quick carbs before and after exercise.

Q: Is Drinking Milk Good For Runners?

Ans: Yes, drinking milk before running provides electrolytes and energy to the human body. And especially if you are a long-distance runner then your body needs extra carbohydrates to fuel muscles. 

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Contact Us Today

Your search to find the right guidance to be a part of all those fat-to-fit stories ends here. So, contact us today if you are looking for a diet plan with cheat meals. Also, we will discuss how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.


This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your health before starting a restrictive diet. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

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