Whether you’re training for a 5K or upping your mileage for a marathon this fall, runners have very specific nutrient needs. “Determining your body’s ideal ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat is key for boosting running performance and staying healthy,” says MyFitnessPal registered dietitian Elle Penner, M.P.H., R.D. “During peak training and racing season, serious runners might aim for 60 to 70% of calories from carbohydrates, 12 to 15% from protein, and 15 to 28% from fat.”
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are important, too, says Penner. “Micronutrients, such as vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium, support heart health, bolster immunity, and aid in muscle recovery,” she says. Fuel up with these eight recipes for optimal nutrient balance and you just might snag that PR!
1. Power Greens Breakfast Skillet | Elle Penner: This breakfast skillet has 17g of protein and is loaded with dark, leafy greens and sweet, caramelized onions.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 285 ; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 271mg; Sodium: 357mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 17g
2. High Protein Oatmeal | Love and Zest: This oatmeal is packed with 10g of protein all thanks to egg whites! For an even bigger protein boost, top with chia seeds or sliced almonds.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 240; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 167mg; Carbohydrate: 44g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 17g; Protein: 11g
3. Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos | Cook Smarts: Sautéed sweet potatoes make a perfect, hearty filling for tacos when you want a quick and easy meat-free meal. They are chock-full of fiber and protein and are perfect for a last-minute weekday dinner.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 439; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 685mg; Carbohydrate: 75g; Dietary Fiber: 17g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 14g
4. Meat & Grain Burgers | The Runners World Cookbook: No grill? No problem! These drool-worthy Meat & Grain Burgers are roasted in the oven and pack 27 grams of protein for less than 400 calories.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 381; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 85mg; Sodium: 497mg; Carbohydrate: 39g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 27g
5. Red Cabbage Smoothie | Elle Penner: The most shocking thing about this smoothie (besides the gorgeous color!) is how undetectable the cabbage is with just a cup of blueberries, one banana, and a little bit of vanilla yogurt mixed in.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 194 ; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 86mg; Carbohydrate: 44g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 29g; Protein: 6g
6. Simple Green Protein Smoothie | Elle Penner: This breakfast smoothie is perfect after a morning workout. It’s also easy to throw in a travel mug and head out the door to start your morning commute.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):Calories: 309; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 6mg; Sodium: 95mg; Carbohydrate: 63g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 47g; Protein: 15g
7. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites | Running With Spoons: Craving a treat? Whip up these easy bites to satisfy your sweet tooth. Bonus: You won’t need to get out the mixer or turn on the oven!
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 120; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 1mg; Sodium: 3mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 3g
8. Peaches and Cream Chia Seed Pudding | Lorimer Street Kitchen: Serve it for dessert or as a sweet treat for breakfast, this creamy chia seed pudding is loaded with fiber and protein to keep you full and help build muscles.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 218; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 144mg; Potassium: 663mg; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 28g; Protein: 11g