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Basic Foods for Better Performance and Health

Runners following restricted, unhealthy, or imbalanced nutrition habits, will affect their performance, and even heart health. According to some research, runners who eat foods high in potassium, magnesium and healthy fats with the right amount of protein and healthy carbs and calories, according to their lifestyle and training, will increase and support their performance and energy level. Eating enough nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables full of these vitamins and minerals will provide healthy fat, magnesium and potassium, and fiber. According to the results of this research done in 2016, the fast runners who were eating the right portions of healthy foods full of magnesium, potassium and healthy fats, weighted less than the slower runners, they trained more distance (15-20km extra), had better cholesterol levels and also had less muscle and heart damage issues after long-distance runs or marathons.

Runners who consume the right amount of unsaturated fat, potassium, and magnesium, perform better and have much better cardiovascular health. The slower runners with not as healthy diets, had more muscle damage and inflammation, which can cause more injuries, and not the proper weight. The foods with high levels of these vitamins and minerals can be also efficient for many types of training and sports. Runners following very strict diet or intense intermittent fasting, according to some research, the results also showed some negative side effects on their performance, endurance and energy levels.


Healthy Fats

The average of healthy fats runners should consume- 50-70 grams a day. We do know that the less processed fats we consume is better for our overall health and performance.

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are made up of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated lipids.

These are the good sources of fat.

Their benefits include:

Decreasing total cholesterol, LDL (low density lipid) cholesterol and has no effect on HDL (high density lipid)-cholesterol. 

Healthy Fat-Rich Foods

  • Olive oil

  • Avocados

  • Nuts - pine, Brazil, almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, pistachios, cashews

  • Seeds - sesame, sunflower, flaxseed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds

  • Natural nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)

  • Fish fat (Omega-3 fatty acids), salmon, mackerel, halibut

  • Egg yolk

Magnesium-Rich Foods

  • Dark Chocolate (85%+)- Magnesium (16% serving), iron, copper, manganese, prebiotic fiber, antioxidants.

  • Avocados- Magnesium (15% serving), potassium, healthy fat, vitamin B, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, fiber, anti-inflammatory.

  • Nuts- Magnesium (20% serving), healthy fat, fiber, anti-inflammatory.

  • Seeds (pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds)- Magnesium (37% serving), iron, healthy fat, Omega-3’s, fiber, antioxidants.

  • Legumes- Magnesium (30% serving), potassium, iron, protein, vitamin K2.

  • Tofu- Magnesium (13% serving), protein, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium.

  • Whole Grains (quinoa, oats, buckwheat, barley, wheat)- Magnesium (16% serving), vitamin B, selenium, manganese, fiber.

  • Fatty Fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut)- Magnesium (13% serving), protein, Omega-3’s, potassium, selenium, vitamin B.

  • Bananas- Magnesium (9% serving), potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, fiber, antioxidants.

  • Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, collard greens)- Magnesium (39% serving), iron, manganese, Vitamin A, C, and K.

Potassium-Rich Foods

  • Bananas- Potassium (12% serving), magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, fiber, antioxidants.

  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes- Potassium (34%-18% serving), magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, manganese, fiber.

  • Beets- Potassium (11% serving), folate, manganese, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory.

  • Spinach- Potassium (30% serving), vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, manganese, antioxidants.

  • Swiss Chard- Potassium (21% serving), vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, fiber.

  • Tomato Sauce- Potassium (17% serving), vitamin A, C, E, B6, copper, anti-inflammatory.

  • Oranges- Potassium (11% serving), folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, thiamine, antioxidants.

  • Avocados- Potassium (20% serving), healthy fat, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, anti-inflammatory.

  • White Beans- Potassium (18% serving), magnesium, manganese, iron, protein, folate, thiamine, anti-inflammatory.

  • Plain Unsweetened Yogurt - Potassium (11% serving), calcium, riboflavin, healthy bacteria for gut health.

  • Salmon- Potassium (15% serving), Omega-3’s fats, vitamin B12, vitamin D, protein, selenium, antioxidants.

  • Coconut Water- Potassium (13% serving), high in electrolytes

Eat Well, Feel Great, Run Strong!


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