Everybody can run. Everybody can eat. But what should you eat before you run? #NutritionCoachRyan has the answer and here’s what he has to say:

I often see people investing in running gear and training. This has become the holy grail of most runners. Lost is the vision of eating to fuel the very engines that make you run.

The most important point for anybody who runs is the fact that you need to fuel your muscles. The human body is designed to run for a period before you tire out. When you tire out, it is the safety mechanism of the human body to shut down so that you don’t destroy all your reserves, or your body.

The weight in the human body is muscle, fat, bones and water. When you lose, you tend to lose mostly water and muscle. Fat – not so easily. When you gain weight as a runner, it’s mostly fat.

It’s important to eat right before you run

Ideally a runner needs 1.5 grams per kg. So if you’re 60 kgs in weight you need 90 grams of proteins consumed through the day. After a run, its best to give about 25 grams of protein for recovery.

Most vegetarians struggle to meet their daily requirement and should supplement it with good quality protein. If you’re going to run a marathon anytime soon, here’s how to prepare your body for it.

Potato Salad (Previous Night)

Make sure you eat a hearty carbohydrate meal. I believe soup made with pasta and macaroni at 7 pm is perfect. At 8 pm, brown rice or potatoes with a protein and a salad is perfect. A traditional Indian pulao with paneer also should work well. A bowl of curd should be included as it stabilises the stomach. Before bed, 3-4 prunes help add fiber so that you empty your bowels before you run the next day.

45 minutes before the run

Most people run on an empty stomach. You will burn muscle. Coffee helps activate the fat burning cycle. Add a small bowl of pats or ragi biscuits with a banana to jump start your run. Do it at least 30 minutes prior so you’re not feeling squishy when the run starts.

You should eat while running too

Eat a banana or 2-3 dates or 2-3 figs or a handful of dried berries midway through your run. If you’re running under 5 kilometres, you don’t need it. However, over 5 km, it’s about training to eat for the longer runs.

Post run nutrition

Post run there is a 120 minutes of recovery window. If nutrition is not given properly at this time, the muscle goes into breakdown mode for the next few hours.   Anybody who runs needs to fuel within 5-10 minutes when the run is finished. If you provide around 25gms of protein with about 100 grams of carbs after your run then you will see a faster recovery.

Ryan Fernando is an award winning sports nutritionist based in Bengaluru.

This article appeared in Indigo XP, a concern of Asianet News Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd.