Paleo Diet For Runners

Run Full Speed Ahead With Paleo Diet For Runners

Paleo RunnerHello everyone. I trust you are all hale and hearty following the Paleo diet. In the previous articles, we have discussed Paleo Diet For Athletes at Paleo Diet for Endurance Athletes. In this article, I will be drilling down into a more specific topic and focus on a particular group of athletes – the runners.

Whether you are engaged in running on a professional level or more of a recreational weekend warrior, read on and find out how your performance can greatly benefit from the Paleo diet for runners.  

 A Better Alternative To Traditional Carb-Loading Approach

Over the years, Paleo diet has been rapidly growing in popularity as more and more people in the general population recognize the benefits of this diet. However, the basic tenets of Paleo diet for runners seem to contradict the traditional practice of carbo-loading among those engaged in running and other endurance sports. In the Paleo diet for runners, the consumption of lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fat are prescribed. On the other hand, food such as processed and refined food products, legumes and grains are completely   prohibited.  

Most runners eat lean protein along with fresh fruits and vegetables. However, there are a number of runners who still heavily rely on processed sugars, grains and starches to fuel their bodies. In the book Triathletes’ Training Bible  and Cyclists’ Training Bible author and US Olympic triathlon coach emphasizes the fact that  athletes can greatly benefit from the Paleo diet.

According to Friel, Paleo supports better and enhanced long-term recovery. This is brought about by the greater supply of micronutrient content supplied in the diet, which allows athletes to train and complete with far greater stress load.

Paleo Runner AthleteAs I have already detailed in the Paleo Diet For Athletes article, it is advised for athletes to consume food with low fiber content and low to moderate glycemic index 2 hours before a hard or long workout or race. During an athletic event, athletes can process carbohydrates in a form of sports drinks. For events that only last for less than an hour, drinking water will suffice. By consuming low-carb diet, the muscles are taught to use up its fat stores, which are known to be more efficient and can help regulate the blood sugar fluctuations.

Following an intense workout, athletes should down a recovery drink with a carb and protein ratio of 4-5:1 ratio. 4-5:1 ratio. Nourishing the body immediately following a workout can help ensure fast recovery and stimulate the rebuilding of muscles.

The Benefits Of Paleo Diet For Runners

According to the results of the scientific studies conducted by Dr. Cordain, the following are the best known benefits of Paleo diet for runners:

  • Boosts long-term health
  • Improves the immune system
  • Reduces aging effect on the muscles and bones
  • Strengthens the muscles and bones
  • Reduces any inflammation and promotes faster healing and recovery
  • Optimizes health

 Healthy Alternatives

Regular training is important among runners to reach their potential, which should be complemented with a healthy diet to fuel the body’s performance and recovery. If you have not yet transitioned into the Paleo diet for runners but want to give it a try to see how it works for you, here are some of the healthy suggestions of adapting Paleo:

  • Instead of pasta spaghetti, replace it with spaghetti squash. Pasta is well-loved by everyone, but it’s not exactly the type of food encouraged in Paleo diet. Instead of pasta noodles, learn to prepare a healthier alternative, spaghetti squash, which can be prepared using a microwave oven.
  • Instead of tortilla chips, eat plantain chips. You can prepare this at home easily and use it for creating tortilla chip recipe, minus the tortilla.
  • Feast on big green salads instead of lunch sandwiches. As you know, Paleo diet supports anything fresh, unprocessed and all natural compared to processed food items.

Is It For You?

As Paleo diet for runners gain popularity, there have been increasing indications of its success. As we continue to learn more about the caveman’s diet, it is actually not absurd to go back to the past and eat what our ancestors ate.


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