The worst foods for runners
You’ve had it happen: You start out feeling good, and then about a mile into the run your stomach growls, you burp up acid and cramps force you to slow down or stop. All these are signs that you should avoid some foods when you’re a runner.
Spicy foods the night before a long run or race is something you should avoid. This includes Mexican foods, such as salsa, hot peppers, beans and cilantro, and Indian food cooked with curry or turmeric. Also, salads made with tomatoes and cucumbers, balsamic vinegar, raw onions and cabbage. Fermented foods, aged cheeses, fried and greasy foods and Vitamin B supplements can wreak havoc with the stomach. People with lactose intolerance also may experience stomach cramps after eating dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, milk or foods with high dairy content, like smoothies, coffee drinks and ice cream.
Also, you should avoid acidic fruits, such as watermelon, prunes, plums, cranberries and citrus, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Stay away from fruits with small seeds such as pomegranates, raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries. The seeds are hard to digest and can stay in your system longer than other foods.
Steer clear of broccoli, Brussels sprouts and corn, vegetables that are hard to digest. Other veggies should be steamed or roasted rather than sautéed or fried. Salt them a little and avoid pepper. The body has a hard time breaking down pepper, especially if it’s cracked.
• If you take a fish oil pill, freeze them and swallow them frozen. They will thaw further down in your system and you won’t burp up the fish taste.
• Test energy drinks on shorter runs. Many runners suffer acid stomach from some of the more popular drinks. Sometimes changing the flavor fixes the problem.
• If peanut butter doesn’t work for you, try almond butter or sunflower butter. They’re high in protein and don’t have the strong peanut taste.
• Make your smoothies with rice milk, soymilk or coconut milk for a non-dairy alternative.
• Allow enough time to digest any food prior to running. Eating or drinking too much of anything right before a run can cause problems.