It’s believed that up to 60% of runners are suffering from stomach problems that are holding them back from training and exercising to their full capacity. There’s a link between exercise and exacerbated digestive distress, and it can be a frustrating experience for many athletes. The good news is, when tested as a potential solution for runners’ trots, the low FODMAP diet showed signs of success.
More of a journey than a quick fix, the low FODMAP diet, which is based on years of research conducted by Monash University, isn’t another “fad diet,” and it doesn’t gear towards weight loss. Rather, the main goal is to discover the underlying problem causing your stomach discomfort (be it running or IBS), figure out which foods are the culprits (and to what degree), and eliminate them from your diet. This introductory elimination process takes about 4-6 weeks overall, and runs in 3 different phases, which you can learn about here.
For those that think it might be helpful, we’ve put together an easy one-week low FODMAP meal plan designed specifically for runners. You may not feel the benefits immediately, but for those that keep at it, this journey is worthwhile.
Keep at it, going through all 3 phases, until you’re comfortable with the transition. If need be, consult your Monash University app and/or your registered dietician. Give it a try, it might just be the thing to get you back on track!
What are the Best Foods for Runners?
Running and nutrition go hand-in-hand. In order to perform at maximum potential, you’ll need to eat a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, monounsaturated oils, complex carbohydrates and tons of fruits and veggies. As a runner, you should be eating foods that provide you with tons of energy that keep you going for a long time without burnout, while avoiding sugary, fatty foods that will make you feel bloated and weigh you down.
We’ve incorporated some of the recommended best foods for runners into our low FODMAP meal plan, including:
- Plain yogurt
- Lean beef
- Sweet potatoes
- Plenty of WATER
Please note: Before starting any diet, we recommend speaking to a dietitian to ensure that it’s right for you. While many runners have found relief from gastrointestinal side-effects through the low FODMAP diet, it may not be right for everyone.
This meal plan is fairly hearty, but if you find that it’s not enough, feel free to sprinkle a few low FODMAP snacks in as you please.
Here is Your Weekly Low FODMAP Meal Plan for Runners
Start your week off right with a protein-packed day that’ll help fuel your runs and avoid ending up with the “runs.”
Breakfast: Low FODMAP Shakshuka with Chickpeas and Feta
Yesterday was a heavy day - give your body a break with these three nutritionally-dense meals that are easy to digest and great for recovery.
Breakfast: Low FODMAP Overnight Oats with Berries
Tuesday is the day to get your greens (and reds, purples, yellows, etc.) in a vitamin-rich rainbow salad, coupled with tons of protein for breakfast and dinner. Lean beef and spinach, two of the best foods for runners, are on the menu today!
Breakfast: Fody’s Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Tacos
Lunch: Low FODMAP Rainbow Salad
Dinner: Steak and Millet Grain Bowl
Oatmeal is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s notoriously good for settling the stomach, while keeping you full for hours. Today, we’ll go light on lunch, and introduce red rice as part of your diet.
Breakfast: Oatmeal Cookie Energy Balls
Bananas and salmon are incredible for runners’ health. Today, you’ll get a touch of both, and a lean turkey chilli for the perfect balance of carbs, veggies and protein.
Breakfast: Low FODMAP Banana Bread
Dinner: Turkey Chili
Yesterday’s turkey chilli dinner will taste even better as today’s lunch! Let’s get you fueled up to help you prep for a weekend marathon.
Breakfast: Low FODMAP Vegetable Frittata
Lunch: Leftover Turkey Chili
Treat yourself today, after all, it’s Saturday! Start your morning off with a stack of cornmeal pancakes, that are healthier than the conventional recipe. A lighter lunch of low-calorie, high-fiber quinoa will follow, and an Asian-inspired fish dish to finish your week-long diet off on a high note.
Breakfast: Low FODMAP Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes
Ready to give this one-week low FODMAP meal plan a try? Let us know in the comments below what you thought. Did it offer you relief from the runners’ trots? Is there any recipe that you particularly enjoyed? We want to hear from you!
For many of the low FODMAP ingredients you need to get started, run to Fody’s online shop, we’ll be waiting for you at the finish line!