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Are You An Runner? 12 Foods You Must Avoid!

Foods to avoid for runners
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The goodness and nourishment that we derive from foods that we consume indeed builds our overall structure, our immunity, our muscle growth, the health of our skin and hair, etc.

Our body is continuously evolving and constantly repairing, healing, and rebuilding itself. So, every day, the body works towards building new cells, healing injuries, supplying vital organs with essential nutrients, etc.

Foods Runners Should Eat

To perform all these life-enriching functions, the body needs a daily dose of health supplements that get essentially supplied basis the diet that we consume.

The importance of a well-nourished diet becomes even more critical when the body undergoes rigorous wear and tear. Thus, sportsmen, runners, and people who are engaged in strenuous physical endeavors need to be warier of what they consume and specifically what they should be avoiding. They must consume foods like bananas, oats, broccoli, and more.

But first, they should know which foods to avoid!

Foods Runners Should Avoid

1. Sugary Sodas

Sugary sodas tend to instantly satiate you but eventually cause dehydration and elevated sugar cravings. They are also tough to digest and interfere with your energy levels, so it’s best to avoid them as much as you can as they are the worst foods for runners!

2. Frozen Meals

In today’s time-pressed lifestyle, it’s effortless to fall prey to the tempting option of frozen foods. These are not only convenient but only reasonably light on the pocket. Pick up a wrong packet, and you have given a grand welcome to humungous amounts of calories, sodium, and fats.  To prevent yourself from falling into this trap, its best to check the labels carefully and especially the serving size of these packets.

Also, if you can, do skip the frozen meals altogether as they feature on the list of foods runners should never eat!

3. Dairy products

Many runners experience stomach pain during the initial days of their running.  Gastrointestinal experts suggest that this is primarily because they are lactose intolerant. Such runners find it difficult to digest dairy products such as milk, cheese, etc. And for many runners, they become aware of this intolerance condition only after they start running. Fortunately, for such runners, there are alternative products available in the market, such as almond milk, soy, etc.

4. Alcohol

A highly enduring and challenging run completed successfully may call for celebrations, but the celebrations should not take the form of a pint of beer.  The biggest reason why this is a ‘strict-no’ is because beer is diuretic – it leads to dehydration, which ultimately results in muscle cramps and fatigue. The alcoholic content of the beer also affects the body’s ability to regulate its temperature basis the temperature in the surroundings.

5. Energy Drinks

If you are planning to go for a long run, avoid the consumption of energy drinks. Most energy drinks are loaded with sugars and some even contain caffeine, which can create an urgency to urinate.

Excessive caffeine consumption also causes the heart rate to pump up and augments the runner’s stress levels.  Therefore, it’s always better to keep yourself light as you gear up for a big run and ensure that you are adequately hydrated through regular consumption of water.

6. Oily and Fatty food items

Fats, no doubt, hold a vital place on the food platter, but they tend to sit in the stomach and take a long time to digest. These food items also tend to make you sluggish, as the body has to start working hard to digest them. Thus, items like cheese, butter should be best avoided before a run, as they tend to make you feel uncomfortable.

7. Spicy food

While spicy food is good to up your metabolism, it’s not a great idea when you are gearing up for a long run. Spicy food can interfere with the gastrointestinal system of our body and can even cause heartburn.

8. Foods that are High in Fiber and Carbohydrates

Though foods that are rich in fiber are great for health, they also land up creating gas in the intestinal tract. This can result in bloating and can make running cumbersome. Therefore, rather than having these food items before the run reserve them for an after-run meal because the fiber content in these food items will help to keep your bowel movements healthy, reduce the cholesterol levels and keep a tab on your blood sugar levels too.

Similarly, foods that are high in carbohydrates are equally hard to digest and should be the food runners must avoid!

Read More:  10 Foods That Are Hard to Digest

9. Substitutes of Butter

When you need to pack a snack of toast for yourself, its best to use the real butter rather than opting for butter substitutes. Butter substitutes are high in hydrogenated oils which can affect the heart. Thus, it is better to choose natural sources such as nuts, avocados, coconut oils, etc. These help you feel fuller faster, and their unsaturated fats help to maintain good heart health too.

10. Nuts

While nuts – both the salted and unsalted versions are great for runners but the salted ones are the best bet since runners tend to lose a lot of salt in their sweat, its best to consume these in moderation. Nuts are loaded with calories and can have a significant impact on your waistline. Similarly, nuts, the ones that are roasted in oil or are sugar-coated, are also a strict No!

11. Cream-based Soups

Considering it’s the winter season, soups are a great healthy choice too. These not only keep you warm but also fill you up in the healthiest of ways. However, it’s best to limit yourself to any version of the soup, which is a cream-of-anything. Instead indulge in healthy servings of broth-based soups of sprouts, spinach, tomatoes, etc.

12. Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose cannot afford to find a place on your dining table if you are an avid runner. They cause dehydration, increased sugar cravings, and also result in the bodyweight to shoot up.


The food that you consume should act as a fuel to support your running goals. Thus, eating the right kind and right quantity of food items will not only boost your performance levels but also equip your body to fight injuries better.  So next time you go grocery shopping, keep this list in mind and be wary of the items that you should add to your shopping cart.

Read More: 9 Energy Giving Foods to Include in Your Diet

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