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Runners are always thinking about food; it has the ability to make a run amazing or miserable. Choose the right combination of foods and you will feel like you can run forever. Choose the wrong combination of foods and your stomach and legs will punish you. Because food can make or break your run, we’ve decided to give some suggestions for one of the most pivotal meals of the day–lunch.
You may be thinking, “I don’t run during lunch, so why does that meal matter?” Even though you eat lunch a few hours before or after your run, it’s just as important as breakfast or dinner. The right lunch can either properly fuel your nightly run or refuel you after your morning run. We’ve compiled a list of Dietitian approved lunches that are perfect for fueling and refueling.
Fueling Lunches: A lunch that is high in whole grains and complex carbs and doesn’t overload you with fiber will provide long lasting energy to power you through your post-work run.
Rainbow Grain Bowl by Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD of Nutrition à la Natalie.
This lunch is packed with healthy whole grains and low-fiber vegetables, and you can sub in your favorite veggies or dressings.
Amaranth Buddha Bowl by Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD of Shaw’s Simple Swaps.
This bowl includes amaranth, a gluten-free whole grain that is packed with protein and carbs to give you long lasting energy.
Superfood Tuna Sandwich by Katie Morford, MS, RD of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.
Who doesn’t love the perfect combination of tuna salad and whole wheat bread? This age old favorite has just the right ratio of carbs and protein.
Crock Pot Mexican Quinoa Chicken by Jodi Danen, RD of The Average RD.
The summer is the best time to fire up the crockpot and turn off the stove! While quinoa is high in protein, it’s also a whole grain that is high in healthy carbs.
Refueling Lunches: A lunch that is high in lean protein and includes some carbs will repair tired muscles and replenish your carb stores for tomorrow’s run.
Spicy Peanut Tofu & Bok Choy Rice Bowl by Kara Lydon, RD of The Foodie Dietitian
Tofu is one of the best sources of plant-based protein. It’s a satiating low-calorie protein that won’t leave you feeling overly full.
Taco Tuna Quinoa Sliders by Kelli Shallal, MPH, RD of Hungry Hobby.
These portion controlled tuna sliders are packed with protein and healthy fats to replenish your worn out muscles.
Balsamic Tuna Sorghum Salad by Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RD of Nutrition Starring You.
Sorghum, an underutilized grain, is high in protein, fiber and antioxidants. The combination of sorghum and tuna provides a protein punch.
Mango Quinoa Nourish Bowl by Jessica Penner, RD of Smart Nutrition
With quinoa, chicken and vegetables, this bowl has the right mix of protein and antioxidants to refuel you for tomorrow.