Running can be a great way to lose some weight, get in shape, and stay in shape. It’s also one of the most popular forms of exercise in America. But a lot of people aren’t doing their workout any favors with their diet. If you’re a runner, you should definitely start eating more of these foods.

QUINOA

Quinoa has burst onto the health food scene within the last ten years or so. And for good reason. It provides complex carbohydrates that are essential for runners because they are actually absorbed slowly by the body and therefore provide a steady supply of energy. But because of this slow digestion speed, it is best to consume quinoa, or any complex carbohydrates, a few hours before you actually go on your run.

BANANAS

Similar to quinoa, Bananas are beneficial to runners as they provide simple carbohydrates. They’re especially great if you’re in a hurry and don’t have a chance to eat your quinoa two hours before your run. Bananas can be enjoyed just minutes before you head out and give you enough energy to make it through your run. Also, the sugar provided makes for a sneaky little pick me up to get you properly motivated to run your heart out.

SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes offer all sorts of nutrients that are beneficial to runners. Including beta-carotene, copper, and manganese. All of these nutrients are especially helpful for runners because they keep your muscles healthy and working properly. Sweet potatoes are also complex carbs and therefore are best consumed a few hours before your run. They also happen to be delicious!

NONFAT GREEK YOGURT

Greek yogurt, especially the nonfat variety, is a great post-meal snack. It is rich in protein and low in calories. So it’s a great way to recovery and regain some energy after draining so much of it on a good run.

FLAXSEED

Flaxseed is rich in those all-important omega-3 fatty acids. These are extremely helpful to runners as they are the most effective tool in easing joint pain and controlling, if not even decreasing inflammation. Flaxseed is also great because it is a source of fiber which can keep you regular and combat digestive pain.

There are plenty of other food items out there that can be great for a runners diet but these are some of the best. So if you’re looking to get into running or you’re already an avid runner and just need that extra bit of help to maintain, try out these great diet tips!