"Food is your fuel," says Cassie Dimmick, R.D., a board-certified sports dietitian in Springfield, MO. "What you put in your tank will a. ect your running, either positively or negatively." Follow these guidelines:

At Every Meal:
Shoot for a couple of healthy carbs (which means whole-grain breads, brown rice, or starchy veggies); at least one serving of lean protein (low-fat dairy, nuts, lean meats, or fish); and one small serving of healthy fat (olive oil, nuts, or nut butter).

Before Running:
Eat 30 minutes to three hours before, focusing on easily digested foods like fruit, whole grains, and a little protein. A small snack (one banana, or co. ee or tea with some honey and skim milk) five minutes before hitting the road can significantly improve performance.

After Running:
Within 30 minutes of stopping, nosh on healthy carbs and protein (about 10 grams). Good choices include 16 ounces low-fat chocolate milk or a smoothie with 1 1/2 cups frozen fruit, one cup skim milk, and one tablespoon flax seed.

Stay Hydrated:
Monitor your urine color throughout the day to make sure you're taking in enough water; if you're hydrated, it should be light yellow. When your runs are less than an hour, hydrate with water. For workouts ranging from one to four hours, switch to a sports drink.

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