London marathon: top 10 foods for runners

Date:13-04-2014 07:58:03 read:1

London marathon: top 10 foods for runners

With the London marathon, not to mention summer, quickly approaching, here are the 10 foods to help runners stay in tip-top condition.

Marathon task: it's important to eat the right foods if you're planning to run a race Photo: Alamy


These are a great source of vitamin E and full of antioxidants, which help to prevent cell damage. Use them sprinkled over salads and cereals or spread some almond butter on your wholegrain toast and top with a sliced banana and a drizzle of honey.


After years of being warned off eggs, they are now back on the menu. Not only are they a brilliant source of protein (one egg gives you 10 per cent of your daily requirement), they also contain amino acids, which muscles need to promote recovery.

Sweet potatoes

These orange beauties provide a good source of beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant), vitamin C, potassium and iron. They also contain the trace elements manganese and copper which are crucial for healthy muscle function. Try them baked and topped with a sweetcorn and black bean salsa, or dice them and add to soups and stews.


They contain much-needed fibre and are easily digestible. Runners need three to six one ounce servings of wholegrains per day (one serving is equal to one slice of wholegrain bread) so think outside the box. There are the regular wholegrain cereals such as oats, rice, bread and pasta, but what about lesser known barley, buckwheat, rye and bulgar? Look to the Middle East for inspiration and use grains as a base for exotic salads.


Chicken is a great source of protein, essential to help rebuild muscles and promote recovery. It also contains selenium, a trace element that helps protect muscles from the free radical damage that can occur during exercise. A lovely and healthy way to eat chicken is poached in an Asian-style broth with plenty of herbs and vegetables.


Another fabulous source of antioxidants, especially the deeper-coloured ones. Berries can be expensive so consider buying packs of frozen ones, a much cheaper option. Add them to smoothies, where they can double up as ice cubes, or make a compote which you can then spoon onto yogurt or porridge.


Yogurt, especially the Greek type, is another good source of protein. It also provides calcium for bone strength and contains live cultures, which help to aid digestion. Eat on its own as a snack or blended in a smoothie, or for a savoury option, stir in some herbs and crushed garlic and use it as a dip or dressing.


Salmon is a brilliant provider of Omega 3 fats, which are especially important for runners as they help balance the body's inflammation response. This fish is great baked, grilled or poached but also raw in sashimi form or as tartare. And don't forget the smoked variety, which is wonderful with scrambled eggs for breakfast.


These contain mono unsaturated fat, a healthy fat that actually helps the body to absorb more nutrients from other foods when eaten together. Try it mashed on toast with lemon juice and dried chilli flakes or in salads, stuffed into wraps or added to a smoothie.


An all-rounder really. Bananas are rich in pectin, which aids digestion and high in fibre. They also help to sustain blood sugar levels. This makes them a great pre, post or even mid-run snack. Eat anytime, anywhere.

    Ever For Health Copy Rights 2013