The Fit & Thrifty Diva

Clean Eating Tips for Runners and Good Cardiovascular Exercise

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Clean eating involves indulging in natural, wholesome foods as opposed to refined and processed foods. Clean eating is an essential part of any exercise regimen, especially a cardiovascular workout. For runners in particular, it’s important to adopt a clean eating habit. Endurance, energy, and body strength are the benefits you get from clean eating. If you want to power through a cardiovascular exercise like running, then here are some clean eating tips to help you in your general optimal health.

Eat cleaner carbohydrates

A runner consumes an average of 65 to 75 percent of calories as against 45 to 65 percent consumption rate of an average “Joe”. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for most runners, especially the marathon runners who neead additional glycogen to propel their muscles forward. Glycogen is processed from broken down glucose derived from digested carbohydrates, which are then stored in the muscles of the body. While running, the glycogen is converted back to glucose that gives you the long-lasting energy effect you feel while being physically engaged. Whole grains devoid of artificial ingredients or sugar like oats, whole-wheat pasta, potatoes, brown rice and beans are examples of the clean carbohydrates we’re talking about.

Eat more clean fats

Another essential fuel source to aid in your endurance for long-lasting cardio exercise routine is eating sufficient amounts of clean fats. To be on the safe side, however, it’s important to ensure that your fat intake isn’t below 15% of your total energy intake. Here are some examples of unsaturated fats, nuts (peanuts or almond), olive oil, seeds, avocado, and fish rich in fats like salmon.

Eat more clean protein

If you’re a big fan of eating the fatty cuts of beef and fried meat like chicken nuggets, then sorry these kind of protein sources don’t constitute what clean eating is about. Seafood such as salmon, trout, shrimp, and scallops together with lean beef, pork and white meat turkey are healthy protein sources that you should take. These protein sources also enhance your endurance and unlike saturated fats are more likely to prevent sluggishness during your sprints and long-distant running. Got a sweet tooth? Bananas and fruit contain large amounts of protein and vitamins to help prevent the heavy leg syndrome, a feeling runners get during training that makes their muscles feel as though they can barely move.


Drink lots of clean water

Clean solid foods are not the only sources for improving your stamina and strength when engaged in a cardiovascular exercise. The liquid alternative is just as important as the protein, fat and carbohydrate sources. The benefit of staying hydrated throughout the exercise is that it improves the health of your skin, controls hunger, and maintains the energy level whilst improving your muscle growth. Runners know the importance of drinking plenty of water. The recommended water intake daily is at least 2 liters of clean water.


Maintaining a clean eating habit and daily cardiovascular exercises routine has never been this informative. By adhering to this clean eating practices, you will be able to undertake any kind of cardiovascular exercise without literally breaking a sweat.

The article The Fit & Thrifty Diva Clean Eating Tips for Runners and Good Cardio first appeared on Live Well… Be Fabulous!