Sports Nutrition 2010
June 14th, 2010

For the most part, a good diet for a distance runner is the same as for our sedentary neighbors.

A science-based quest for the optimal running diet

Despite quibbles around the edges, most experts agree on the mainstays of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fiber, and taking it easy on processed foods, large hunks of protein, and saturated fat. While it may be true that if the furnace is hot enough it will burn anything, that doesn't mean it doesn't care over the long run about the quality of the fuel going into the furnace. Some fuels burn more efficiently than others. Consider a sound diet an essential underpinning of the good health that allows good training over a lifetime.

But what about beyond the basics? You ask more of your body than most of your neighbors do of theirs. Are there dietary tweaks, additions, manipulations that will improve your running performance? We consulted several sports nutrition experts to consider three topics:

Supplemental Information: Which nutritional supplements really benefit runners
by Emily Brown, RD

Running on Empty: Boost your speed and endurance by skipping carbs -- seriously
by Kelly Bastone

Pre-Marathon Carbo-Loading Revsited: Is drastically changing your diet days before a race worth the risk?
by Jonathan Beverly