‘Healthy’ Foods That Can Ruin Your Running

PICTURE: The New York Times

Sports nutritionists are constantly asked about which foods runners should eat to boost their performance or their health and which they should avoid. However separating the good guys from the nutritional offenders is not always as simple as it seems health-food impostors can fool even savvy runners.

Dairy is a great source of calcium, potassium and protein, but flavoured yoghurts are usually sweetened with sugar which contains more than 30g per serving.

“Multigrain” simply means there are a number of different grains in the bread as opposed to wholegrain, which means all parts of the grain kernel are used, so these loaves can still primarily contain refined white flour. Seven grain bread has more calories and sugar.

Hydrogenated oils, increase cholesterol levels and the body can’t easily convert them to energy, so they can also decrease athletic ability.

Runners love to socialise over post-run beers as usual there is a caveat drinking more than one can hinder your body’s ability to repair itself. Beer has carbs, you can have one but do not let it replace water.

Caffeine can boost performance and make a run seem easier. It has been proven that athletes who use energy drinks did see slightly improved performance, but were also more likely to experience agitation, insomnia and nervousness.

Peanut and almond butter can be a runner’s best friends. The ingredients list should feature nuts, salt, if you prefer sweetened versions, rather go for those with no more than 3g of sugar per serving.

Instead of protein bars, eat a little protein throughout the day, which is how the body best absorbs it. If your diet includes fish, chicken, dairy, veggies and whole grains, however you should not add processed protein to your post-run routine

Full-fat fizzy drinks are bad for the-bone source of empty kilojoules but runners should steer clear of diet drinks. Artificial sweeteners used in these drinks may alter gut microbes in a way that increases glucose intolerance, potentially increasing diabetes risk.