Vitamin/Food recommendations before workouts (Read 57 times)


    I'm a 16 year old high school cross country runner and I was just wondering what are some good vitamin supplements I can take, or any foods I should eat to help with performance during workouts.


      Do you feel you eat well and often? At 16 I don't think you need to overanalyze. It is more important to train properly so that you recover properly. A good balanced meal after a harder or longer run is important. If your nutrition is poor it will catch up to you. Only then would it be wise to start supplementing with something and those "green drinks" are a good place to start for some good nutrition and I am a huge fan of a product called RAW MEAL for some quick nutrition and plant based protein.

      SMART Approach Training - Run Injury Free. www.smartapproachtraining.com

        I don't know if there's too much that helps RIGHT BEFORE running, it takes a while for stuff to get processed into your system.


        What Tchuck said. Overall good diet, and the meal afterwards is more important.


        You gain benefits to performance during recovery, not during workouts.  Break down, build up. Hard workout, a couple days of recovery, Hard workout, repeat.

        55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

        Seattle prattle

          Carbs, as in carbohydrates. They are a good source of quick energy.

          For really quick energy, use an energy drink or gel, but be careful becuase they can cause sugar spike and they are just a gob of sugar, after all.

          Far better are carbs. They take a little while to get absorbed through the lower intestine, so ideally consume some as much as 2 g/kg one to two hours before a tough workout. Having some just before the workout seems to work, too, but i am not sure how our metabolism is using those calories unless they are getting metabolized during the workout.

          Easily digestible carbs are the best, you don't want to upset or tax your stomach, so it can be as simple as a piece or two of bread. I like rice cakes because they keep my stomach from getting upset from coffee, which is also a pre-workout necessity for many of us,

          I am aware of some supplements that are supposed to enhance athletics, totally legal, and found in mixes of things like "Pre-Workout" but i wouldn't be so keen on stuff like that at age 16.

          Keep it simple, Fuel well, Be consistent in your program, recovery drink, balanced diet, plenty of sleep. These will get you doing really well.

            I concur with Tchuck and Surly Bill. Just good nutrition. But maybe we should define good nutrition. Food as it came out of the ground. Vegetables, fruit, dairy, eggs, meat and poultry. If it comes in a box or a bag it's probably a bad choice. When considering packaged foods, read the list of ingredients. If you can't pronounce or never heard of the ingredients it's probably a bad choice. And any ingredient that ends in the letters OSE is some sort of sugar and should be avoided.


            Here is the problem. A few decades ago, the FDA mistakenly concluded that fat consumption leads to obesity so it recommended that food companies remove the fat from food. Well, they did and what do you know, sales declined.  The food companies quickly figured out that without the fat the food tasted like crap. What did they do?  They replaced the fat with sugar and sales went back up. You know what else increased?  The incidence of obesity and diabetes until now it is in epidemic proportions.


            So how does this relate to your running you might ask.  Consider this. How many calories you eat and how you feel are the same thing. Suppose you burn 2000 calories a day and you eat 2000 calories a day. You feel fine, right?  If you burn 2000 but only eat 1500, you feel tired, right?  Now, imagine a case where you have a constant injection of insulin that hits your body every time you eat and you eat 2000 calories. Of that 2000 calories, because of the insulin, 500 are taken right off the top, are stored as fat and are not as easily burned. So your body wants 2000 but it only has 1500. How do you feel? Tired! What are you going to do? You are going to eat back the 500. But you are still getting the insulin which means you are still storing another 150 and only have another 350 left to burn. So you eat some more. Now you are up to roughly 2900 eaten and you still feel like crap.


            This is exactly what happens when you eat foods rich in sugar and simple carbs. Because they lack the necessary fiber they are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream causing an insulin spike, shunting your calories into fat, and negatively affecting your health and athletic performance.


            Since you are running cross country, a good nutrition diet with lots of fiber and that does NOT allow sodas, juice, sugary snacks, and highly processed foods will help you greatly in the long run. Bread should be whole grain. And why is juice bad? Juice is basically fructose and water. Fructose is only processed by the liver and when it is consumed there is an insulin spike. Fruit is healthy but juice is not because the healthy part of fruit is the fiber. Making juice means removing the fiber. And I dont mean that OJ with pulp is good. It's bad.


            In essence doing distance running will benefit more from a diet that is less reliant on carbohydrate and instead consumes more healthy fats as found in avocados and olive oil. If you want to eat carbohydrates they should be natural complex carbs such as steel cut oatmeal or fresh fruit that are absorbed more slowly. Combine that with running about 80% of your runs at an easy conversational pace at low heart rate and your distance running over time will improve because you will not only not need a steady source of sugar but your body trained at low heart rate becomes better at accessing its stores of fat.

            I intend to live forever . . . or die trying.

              When I was 16 I was 6 foot and 140 pounds.

              i ate about 5000 calories a day.

              i was running 20 to 30 miles a week .

              i could eating anything and not gain weight

                When I was 16 I was 6 foot and 140 pounds.

                i ate about 5000 calories a day.

                i was running 20 to 30 miles a week .

                i could eating anything and not gain weight


                Hey, me too!

                Wish we could bottle whatever is in Youth and sell it.

                For health class, we had to add up the calories of everything we ate for a week. I averaged 9000 a day that week! No, really!

                55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying