Running Training Tips – Nutrition For Women Runners

When it comes to making sure you get the correct nutrition your body needs for running, there are a few issues that affect women more than men. This is partly due to the fact that women tend to pay a lot more attention to their weight than men do, and not necessarily for all the right reasons.
First, you should ensure that you get enough iron in your diet. Iron is essential for transporting oxygen through your bloodstream, as well as providing a key building block of muscle tissue. It is easy for women to become anemic (i.e. have insufficient iron) because of their periods. If you don’t eat red meat, make sure that you get iron from sources such as dark green vegetables, beans and dried fruit.
Avoid drinking coffee or tea with your meals, as these interfere with the absorption of iron. Watch carefully for the symptoms of anemia, which include fatigue, palpitations, dizziness, dryness of mouth, sores in the corner of the mouth and brittle hair. Your doctor can easily test for iron deficiency. If necessary take a food supplement to maintain your iron levels.
Second, you should ensure that you have enough calcium. This is essential for building strong bones, and avoiding osteoporosis; it may also help to reduce high blood pressure. Dairy products are generally a good source of calcium; if you don’t eat dairy products then try to buy calcium-fortified alternatives (you can buy calcium-fortified mineral water, orange juice and soya milk, for example).
Third, some women runners don’t eat enough fat. You need some fat in your diet, not least to ensure that you have healthy hair and skin. Remember that some fats are good for you – try to increase your intake of mono-unsaturated fats (e.g. from olive oil and nuts) and essential fatty acids (e.g. from oily fish and seeds) while avoiding saturated fats (which mainly come from animal products).

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