A balanced breakfast fuels runners best

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and all the more so on the morning of an important race. However many runners struggle to know which are the best foods that will provide them with the right fuel to get them to the finish line in the best possible shape.

Plenty of running events start bright and early so good, solid nutrition is vital for a successful race. Nuffield Health who are the official Health & Wellbeing Partner of Human Race, has offered some helpful advice to ensure runners get off to a winning start.

Joanne Hart, Nuffield Health nutritionist comments: “Ideally you need to eat breakfast two or three hours before a long run so this is something to practise before race day. This might mean you need to set your alarm early so you have sufficient time for your food to digest before setting off.

Carbohydrate is your body’s main fuel. There are two main types of carbohydrate: ‘slow releasing’ and ‘fast releasing’. Fast releasing carbohydrates give a fast energy boost, and slow releasing carbohydrates provide energy more slowly over time. You’ll need a good balance of both carbohydrates to fuel your runs. Closer to the run, if you can manage it, then you might have a banana (fast release) or diluted juice drink (fast release) about an hour before.”

Easy ways to reach the required nutritional mix include yoghurt porridge with ripe summer berries or for a more savoury breakfast a spinach and black bean omelette or smashed avocado on toast with salmon. Protein is best to satiate any hunger pangs, while the carbohydrates will boost energy levels, giving runners strength to crush their race goals.