Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
Nutrition Tips

Performance Foods for Runners and Walkers

By Jenny Sliger

Information on foods that not only enhance health, but running performance and recovery as well.

Complex Carbohydrates: For muscle energy and endurance
   Cereal: especially Oat Squares, Oatmeal, Raisin Bran
Bread: whole grain is best; but Power Kids or anything with added wheat, oats, etc. is ok
Pasta: macaroni, spaghetti, any other; cooked al dente will retain more nutrients
Potatoes: not fried or chips!
Other: waffles, pancakes, bagels, pretzels, Power Bars, Nutra-grain bars, all good snacks
Fruits and Vegetables: For healing, recovery, and repair
   Bananas, Broccoli, Watermelon, Oranges or orange juice, Blueberries, Apples, Carrots, Strawberries, Grapes, Salsa, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce (great way to get tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc.)
Protein: For structure, repair, recovery, prevention of injury
   Low fat yogurt, Egg whites, 2% or fat free milk, Peanut butter, Skinless white turkey or chicken, Baked beans
Fat: for long-term energy, vitamin absorption, hormonal regulation
   Tuna, Nuts, sunflower seeds, Lean cuts of beef and pork, Salmon, Olives and olive oil, Skinless white poultry
Other Fun Foods
   Raisins, even chocolate covered • Oatmeal or Peanut Butter cookies, Fig Newtons • Gummy Bears, Twizzlers • Jello, Yogurt, pudding • Pizza made with lower fat cheese (no pepperoni or sausage, please)

Foods that will hurt performance

All fried foods:
Chicken nuggets/any breaded and fried chicken, french fries, doughnuts, fried fish

Foods high is saturated fats:
All fried foods, fatty cuts of meat and poultry, most cheeses (go for the cheese made with skim or 2% milk), butter, whole milk, coconut and coconut oil, palm oil, ice cream (choose frozen yogurt or the lower fat kind instead)

Carbonated, sugary drinks
The phosphorous in the carbonation depletes the bones of calcium: an especially important mineral for females. The amount of pop many athletes drink, keeps them from drinking enough water, which is truly what the muscles need to perform. While caffeine may give them a boost for awhile, too much can cause jitteriness and decrease performance. Sports drinks are a much better choice. They have the sugar, but the muscles can use it. They replace fluid and are more easily absorbed than pop.

Jenny Sliger is a nutritionist who contributes to the Middletown Street Striders newsletter. She can be contacted at

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