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What Do Elite Runners Eat In a Day?

Diet is an important part of overall fitness and wellbeing. For that reason, an elite runner may pay a lot of attention to what they eat throughout the day.

Now, it’s important to note that elite runners all have their own individual tastes, so each runner may have a different diet. There are some general guidelines that they may follow when making up their plates however. 

The most important thing is that an elite runner has a balanced diet. This includes things like vegetables and legumes, lean meat and fish, whole grains and different kinds of dairy. They eat pretty much everything and try not to eliminate whole food groups unless they have allergies.

The other thing to mention is that elite runners will strive to eat high quality, whole foods rather than processed foods. They try to limit things like fried foods, and focus instead on white meats like poultry and fish.

Carbohydrates are also the focus of an elite runner’s diet. Carbs are good for providing energy, while protein like fish and chicken are good for muscle repair.

You will usually find that an elite runner will not limit their calories most of the time either. They will ensure that they eat plenty of food to keep their body well fuelled throughout the day. They try not to eat too much or too little either.

They will eat according to their own personal needs and what makes them most happy while optimizing their performance.

How many calories a day do elite runners eat?

What is the calorie intake of an elite runner? Well, the answer is that it depends on the individual.

An elite runner will usually eat what it takes to fuel their body. The calorie needs for a runner may depend on things like their gender, weight and height, so it can truly vary from person to person. Hypothetically speaking? Let’s say you’re a 5 foot 11 man weighing around 180 pounds.

You may need 2500 to keep your body running throughout the day without exercise. Exercise burns more calories, so it stands to reason that an elite runner may require a lot more sustenance than that. An elite runner may eat around 2500 calories in addition to their basic caloric needs - this could easily equate to around 5000 calories a day! 

This can depend on the amount of running that they do, however. A runner may also eat less during days when they aren’t running, since they won’t have the same energy requirements that they would have on a day when they are running. 

Okay, so what about the average runner? It stands to reason that the average runner isn’t going to be exercising nearly as much as an elite runner, so they most likely won’t need as many calories. If you want to figure out your personal calorie needs as a runner, it’s best to look online for something like a calorie calculator, since this will give you a decent indication of your calorie requirements based on your personal metrics.

In summary, the calorie intake of an elite runner can depend on the runner in question and their individual needs and training requirements. 

Do elite runners eat during marathon?

An elite runner needs fuel just like anyone else, so you may be wondering whether an elite runner eats during a marathon. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what your experience level is, feeding your body is important when you are running a marathon.

Usually, a runner will load up on some high quality carbohydrates before the race. This may consist of things like vegetables or grains, or even things like pasta.

During the run, the runner may eat something every 90 minutes or so to give them energy. They may eat things such as bananas, honey or gummy sweets to give them a quick burst of energy. Things like dried fruits and oranges are another great choice during a marathon.

They may also drink things like isotonic drinks to give them energy. Ultimately, if the runner is going to be exercising for a long period of time, they are going to need more fuel and may need to eat more frequently. 

When the race is over, the runner will then ensure that they eat again. They may consume things such as chocolate milk to give them plenty of protein and carbohydrates. Perhaps they will consume a smoothie that is full of things like fruits and vegetables. 

Eating isn’t the only important thing, however. A runner will also need to ensure that they are well hydrated to help them to continue with the run at their best performance level.


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