1. My nutrition plan should be based around 50% Carbohydrates, 25% protein and 25% fats. NOTE: this was my plan based on all my information - it may not apply to everyone!! It's pretty inexpensive, I recommend seeing a sports nutritionist to get your own breakdown :)
2. Carbs can be divided into 3 groups: Complex carbs, fibre and sugar. When you see a nutrition label on food, usually you're given total carbs, grams of fibre and grams of sugar. To find the total complex carbs, subtract grams of fibre + grams of sugar from the total carbs given on the label.
For example, looking at my Skittles package (yeah, I know. I'm still eating Skittles. But I have a head cold dammit!) Total Carbs = 51g; Fibre = 0g and Sugar = 42g. So complex carbs = 9g.
3. BEFORE RUNNING
1-3 hours before (depending on how you tolerate food before running and time you need to digest) you want to fuel up on complex carbs. These take a little longer to digest but provide your body with stable levels of blood sugar and energy. It is stored as glycogen.
Examples include granola, rice, oatmeal, whole grain breads and many vegetables (be careful eating vegetables too close to run time though, these also contain fibre and might um, make you need to make an unplanned pit stop to take care of business during your run!)
Examples of complex carbs: breads made with white flour, fruit juice, syrup, soft drinks, candy
A good pre-run food is crackers or white bread/ bagel with peanut butter or an apple with almond butter.
If you don't eat enough complex carbs, your body tends to break down protein - you don't want this! I don't fully understand the whole process, but the result is a slowdown in metabolism = not good. Don't do it. Word.
4. Avoid high fat foods before exercise. I've forgotten the exact reason, but I underlined it in my notes, so it must have been important!
6. AFTER RUNNING
After a run, you want to re-fuel ASAP. At this point, your body needs protein and glycogen (interesting note: 'hitting the wall' or 'bonking' are caused by depletion of glycogen stores in the body - this is why we carb-load!). The best source of glycogen is MEAT. Post-workout you want to consume proteins that contain the most amino acids as possible.
Try to eat .5g of carbs per pound of body weight in the FIRST HOUR post exercise. Repeat that amount 1-3 hours later.
7. Fats - these have gotten a bad name, but your body NEEDS fat to be healthy. Try to consume as close to ZERO trans fats as possible. Saturated fats should comprise less than 10% of your daily fat intake, and the rest should be unsaturated fats and omegas (salmon is an excellent source of this!). Check nutrition labels to find the fat breakdown information.
8. Sodium - Americans consume WAY too much of this. Aim to consume no more than 1,500 mg/day. You can reduce this a lot by making food from scratch when possible and not eating too many canned or frozen foods. I know that's tough, especially for busy people but one idea is to make sauces and soups in large amounts then freeze them yourself to avoid store-bought frozen foods, which tend to be loaded with sodium.
9. Get your nutrients from real foods when possible - supplements should be used as just that! Your body doesn't derive the same benefits from supplements as whole foods, but they are better than not getting enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals at all.
10. Runners and active people should try to drink 10-12 cups of water a day!