Good Carbohydrates for Runners

Carbohydrates are a runner’s main source of fuel, but they are only stored in limited amounts in the body as blood glucose, liver glycogen and muscle glycogen. Regular intake of healthy carbohydrates will keep you nutritionally energized to meet your daily training needs.

Daily Intake

Good Carbohydrates for Runners
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Understanding how many carbohydrates you need is important so that you know how to keep your fuel tanks loaded. Melinda Manore, a registered dietitian and professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences at Oregon State University, recommends that athletes consume 5 to 10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight on a daily basis. She suggests that you stick to the lower range on lighter training days and increase to the higher range as race day approaches. So for a 150-pound runner, this would amount to 340 to 680 grams of carbohydrates per day. Select nutrient-rich carbohydrates such as whole grain products, legumes, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products that also provide generous amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber.


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