Here are some ideas for eating and drinking the best carbohydrate sources for runners. Eat (and drink) these items to up your carbohydrate intake and reap their performance benefits.

Runners need a lot of carbohydrate. Why? Because your muscles are fueled primarily on carbohydrate when you run hard. Thus, sports nutrition experts generally recommend that runners get approximately 60 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrate.

But you need to get the right kinds of carbs at the right times. Immediately before, during, and after exercise, fast-acting high-glycemic carbs are best. At all other times, your carbs should come from low-glycemic foods that provide longer-lasting energy and are packed with lots of other nutrition.

The following are the top 10 carbohydrate sources for runners. Some are best for use during and after exercise, while others are ideal for regular meals and snacks.

1. Bananas
photo: Shutterstock
2. Berries
3. Brown Rice
4. Energy Bars
5. Lowfat Yogurt
6. Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
7. Sports Drinks
8. Tomato Sauce
9. Whole Grain Bread
10. Whole Wheat Pasta


About The Author:

Matt Fitzgerald is the author of numerous books, including Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance (VeloPress, 2012). He is also a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports. To learn more about Matt visit

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