There are plenty of factors that affect whether you hit your running goals, but one of the biggest is the food you are using as fuel. And like most things in the health and fitness space, best practice is often disputed.
So what should runners eat? Well, new research has found that one diet can improve your endurance exercise performance after just four days. It’s the eternally high-achieving Mediterranean diet. Yep, a small study (think, seven women and four men) published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that participants who ate a Mediterranean diet ran five kilometres six percent faster than after eating a western diet. This is despite experiencing similar heart rates and ratings of perceived exertion.
"This study provides evidence that a diet that is known to be good for health is also good for exercise performance," Weiss said. "Like the general population, athletes and other exercise enthusiasts commonly eat unhealthy diets. Now they have an additional incentive to eat healthy."
If you're looking to follow a Mediterranean diet and beat your PB, ensure your plate is piled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, fish, healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, legumes, and red wine in moderation.