If you're an avid runner determined to improve your performance, good nutrition is an essential part of the equation.
It's not just about what you eat after you run, but having the right fuel before and during your training as well.
Eating the right foods can help with energy levels and give you more endurance.
Post-run nutrition is important too: a combination of lean protein and carbohydrates helps muscle recovery so you are ready for your next big race.
Being mindful of what you eat can make all the difference in achieving maximum performance as a runner.
When it comes to lunch, it can sometimes feel boring and you may not be in the mood to cook a full-blown meal that is also super healthy.
Energy bars and highly caffeinated energy drinks may also be tempting but neither provides the proper nutrition and hydration you need for a long run.
Sports drinks (Here's the best energy drinks for marathon runners!) on the other hand will help keep you hydrated and energized for longer runs but they also don't provide the nutrition you need.
The best foods are those that are full of whole grains, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
I've put together this list of the best lunch ideas for runners.
Whether you're looking for something to eat before or after your next run or just want some inspiration, these healthy meals will help you hit the ground running while keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can have an undeniably tasty and surprisingly nutritious meal in no time flat.
All you need is some jelly (look for an organic fruit spread), natural peanut butter, and fresh whole grain bread.
You can also use other nut butters such as almond, cashew and pecan.
Here's how to make this delicious sandwich wrap:
Chicken salad is one of those dishes that can easily be customized to meet everyone's tastes.
Its basic ingredients are a flavorful, versatile base that can be personalized with various fruits and other toppings.
Adding in some sliced apples, mangoes, cranberries, or grapes is an excellent way to spruce up a classic chicken salad.
Not only do these fruits add a burst of natural sweetness, but they also bring an element of freshness, crunch and a healthy dose of vitamin c which is so important for the immune system of distance runners!
For extra flavor and texture, you can use either yogurt or mayonnaise as a dressing - both pair perfectly with the sweetness of the fruit.
Or go for something savory like this Southwest Chicken Salad from A Paige of Positivity.
Grilled chicken with brown rice and roasted vegetables are the ultimate simple meal.
Here's how you will want to prepare this lunch:
This is one of these dishes that can easily be meal-prepped.
If you enjoy meal prepping, you might like this Meal Prep Routine for Runners.
I also created a 3 Day Carbo-Loading Menu Plan if you are currently training for a Marathon or half marathon.
If race week is looming then you can also check out these meal prep ideas for the week before your marathon!
Veggie wraps are the perfect way to get a good dose of healthy nutrition while still satisfying your taste buds.
Take this one, for example- it's filled with feta cheese, avocado, cucumber, and red peppers.
The feta adds a creamy texture and salty kick that pairs perfectly with the acidity of the red peppers and crunchy cucumbers.
Creamy avocado rounds out this combination making every single bite an absolute delight.
Plus, you can easily customize it by swapping out some ingredients or adding more vegetables depending on what you're in the mood for.
Salmon burgers are a delicious sandwich that won't leave you feeling guilty afterward.
The hearty flavors of the salmon are complemented perfectly by the nuttiness of a whole wheat bun while adding a side of sweet potatoes brings in just enough sweetness to make the meal complete.
All you need to do is grab some canned salmon, mix it with herbs, spices, and an egg for binding before forming into patties, then cook them up in a pan until golden brown.
erve on whole wheat buns with your favorite condiment (or maybe even some homemade tartar sauce) and pair with oven-baked sweet potato fries for a tasty and energizing treat!
Quinoa sushi rolls are an easy, healthy, and tasty meal for when you're looking for something a little different.
Not only is this combination incredibly flavorful, but it's also loaded with protein and other nutritious ingredients. Beans are one of the healthies foods out there!
If you want to make your salad even more filling, you can mix in roasted chickpeas or chicken.
Serve this vibrant dish with crunchy tortilla chips or sliced jicama for a delicious side. And don't forget to drizzle on a decadent dressing for added flavor!
There's nothing like a classic grilled cheese sandwich to satisfy you.
And if you're looking for an upgrade that adds a little pop of flavor and texture, just add roasted tomatoes!
To make this yummy lunch:
These are just a few meal plan ideas to help keep you fueled and running strong all while meeting your nutritional needs as a runner.
Whether you're looking for something to eat before or after your next run, these easy lunches are a great way to give you the energy you need to perform your best.
Be sure to try different combinations of foods and see what works best for you. And most importantly, don't forget to enjoy the process.
Your hard work will pay off!
The Ultimate Guide to eating and fueling for marathon training and racing success! + get access and develop your own personalized marathon nutrition plan to implement before your marathon with our 9 STEP Prep Plan!
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