10 Good Carbohydrates for Runners

Runners can reap performance benefits when 60% of their daily calorie intake is sourced from carbohydrates. But the right intake of carbohydrates is critical to fuel the body.


High-glycemic and fast-acting carbs are best immediately before, during, and after your run hard. For any other time of the day, the carb intake should come from low-glycemic foods that are loaded with nutrition and give long-lasting energy.


Here are 10 top-rated carbohydrates to fuel the body:


1 – Bananas

A banana is perfect for a pre or post workout snack with each banana containing about 31g of carbs, while also being fast and easy to digest. Also, combine a banana with a protein source after completing a run to help promote muscle repair and recovery.


2 – Berries

Among the most notorious carbohydrate sources is berries (blueberries, strawberries, and others). They have a high concentration of phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins which help to promote performance and health in several ways. But berries aren’t able to offer the highest concentration of carbs, with a single cup of strawberries offering a mere 12g. So, this isn’t a fruit that can solely help to meet the daily carbohydrate needs.


3 – Bread (Whole Grain)

Whole-grain breads are the top-rated choice for making sandwiches. Even though whole-grain doesn’t contain anymore carbohydrates than refine-grain breads – about 12g each – whole-grain is more beneficial in relation to minerals, vitamins, fiber, and low glycemic index is perfect to fuel to the body longer for lasting energy. Also, makes sure to eat the bread that has minimal added sugar.


4 – Brown Rice

A rich source of carbohydrates is certain to come from brown rice or similar cereal grains. A single cup of brown rice can offer up to 45g of carbs. Brown rice is favored ahead of refined grains (white rice) as a result of the high count of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Also, brown rice is absorbed at a slower pace, which means they promote less fat storage and provide more lasting energy.


5 – Energy Bars

A proper energy bar (those intended before, during, or after exercise) are perfect to refuel the body after a hard run as they give fast and efficient energy. Energy bars low in fiber and fat, moderate in protein, and high in carbs are preferred for refueling before or after a workout. A great option includes PowerBar Performance with its 1g of fiber, 3.5g of fat, 9g of protein, and 44g of carbs.


6 – Oatmeal

Oatmeal can set up a perfect pre-exercise breakfast option. A single serving of oatmeal is not only easy to digest, but offers a lot of carbohydrates (54g per half-cup). Add in a glass of fresh orange juice and sliced banana, and this will easily increase the carb intake to 100g-plus.


7 – Pasta (Whole Wheat)

Pasta is one dish that is high in carbs. A single cup of whole-wheat pasta offers 37g of carbs. Similar to other whole-grain foods, this type of pasta promotes less fat storage, provides longer-lasting energy, and supplies more nutrition compared to regular spaghetti. Pasta served with high-protein meatballs (turkey or lean ground beef) or shellfish helps to make a dish that is low glycemic rated and gives more energy.


8 – Sports Drink

A sports drink is perfect to keep the muscles fueled during exercise, while electrolytes and water is helpful to stay hydrated. Accelerade and Gatorade Endurance are certain to help with providing the desired carbs to keep you running. A negative aspect of the sports drinks is the high sugar content, so the use should be restricted to before, during or after a hard race or workout.


9 – Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is loaded with antioxidants (lycopene), minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates (about 21g per cup). A regular intake of tomato sauce is said to help lower the risk of certain serious diseases, such as prostate cancer.


10 –Yogurt (Low-fat)

Yogurt or similar low-fat based foods are great source of carbs. A 6-ounce service of low-fat blueberry yogurt offers 26g of carbohydrates. Low-fat yogurt has a high glycemic count which makes it more desirable for times immediately before or after exercise. Use the brands with minimal added sugar for the most benefit.

Speak Your Mind