For runners who are looking to not only improve their speed and endurance but overall health, reach your bodyweight goal and increase your metabolism, following a cleaner and healthier diet will make a big difference.
2020 Nutrition Trends
1. 16:8 Intermittent Fasting- In the past couple of years, intermittent fasting diet has been very trendy. One of the most popular is the 16:8 which involves eating all your meals within 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. Fasting for 16 hours allows our body to process, digest and heal any gut issues. This 16:8 version should be the most intense and restricted option. For runners, long fasting periods can cause some health issues and slow down our metabolism. Shorter fasting version are also very efficient and less intense, 14:10 is a balanced diet version, more sustainable for runners or athletes. Each individual has a different body type, some people can’t tolerate intermittent fasting, it can cause extreme hunger once you start eating. For runners, eating properly for fueling and recovery is very important, make sure your eating schedule follows your training schedule.
2. Plant-Based Diet- The vegan diet is getting super popular, especially in the past year. Eating more fresh vegetables and fruits is super beneficial, but for some people not consuming lean meat, fish or eggs doesn’t work with their body type. For a plant-based diet, it can be more challenging to consume optimal levels of nutrients, the most common ones that plant-based diet followers get depleted of are iron and vitamin B12. Cutting out processed meat makes a huge difference, choosing organic, free-range meat or fish is a better option. A plant-based diet is very healthy and can help with weight loss, but for people who need some meat or fish to follow an 80% plant-based diet can be healthy and provide overall health benefits.
3. Brain-Boosting Foods- For runners, especially long-distance runners, to ensure that you are mentally strong is very important to support your endurance and stamina. Eating foods that support cognitive function, such as antioxidants (berries, pecans, dark chocolate, kale, red cabbage, beans, beets, Omega 3’s (oily fish, chia seeds, flax seeds), anti-inflammatory rich-foods (salmon, avocado, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, grapes, berries, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, green tea) will help boost your motivation.
4. Adaptogens- Adaptogens can help reduce fatigue, enhance mental performance and also reduce mental issues such as anxiety and depression. Ashwagandha, an herbal adaptogen is very efficient to help lower cortisol levels, reduce the impact of stress on the body. It also helps increase energy levels and boost concentration. All of these benefits are very important for runners, to support the constant energy and mental strength.
5. Plant-Based Milks- Plant milks are getting more popular and they will become the milk base in the next decade. We now have access to so many more options such as almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, soy, rice, cashew, and hemp milk. Plant-based milks contain less protein then dairy milk. For runners following a plant-based diet make sure you had some extra protein in the plant-milks for proper recovery. Plant based milks are made from plants rich in nutrients that are good for our bodies like, omega fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and vitamins, some provide a bit of protein (nut milks), and contain no fats and cholesterol that clog our arteries, and lead to a multitude of lifestyle diseases. Make sure you use unsweetened plant milks, with no added sugar and additives like carrageenan.
6. Personalized Diet- A personalized diet is all about getting to know the needs of your body and creating your diet and supplements to increase your performance, energy and reduce the risk of illness. To figure out your body’s specific needs and adjust your nutrition accordingly to boost your running performance is very simple. To figure out what your body likes or is depleted of, you can do some DNA test or blood test. Now those tests can even be done from home, and sent to DNA or Bio online companies.
7. Natural Fueling Foods- Eating more natural foods for pre-race, race and recovery has increased tremendously in the past year. Natural carbs (fresh fruits and dried fruits), protein (eggs, nuts, nut butter), natural gels, natural sports drinks like Tailwind. All these natural clean fueling products are and will get even more popular in the coming year.
8. Supercharged Water- Staying hydrated is key to support our running performance, we need to drink electrolytes, but after a while our body craves some fresh water. Another big trend for 2020 is supercharged water, fruit or vegetable-infused water. You can add lime, lemon, cucumber, mint, watermelon. Another big trend coming up is to add “microdrink” cubes, which you can add to your water to add fruit and plant extracts without sugar. Drinking more water, and natural electrolytes is essential for runners not to get depleted of vitamins and minerals especially pre-race, during a race and post-race for proper recovery.
EAT & DRINK CLEANER AND SMARTER, TRAIN WELL, FEEL GREAT!