Sports Nutrition for Runners and Walkers

Here is a collection of useful nutrition information for athletes, including recipes, gluten-free, long distance nutrition strategy, performance nutrition, grocery lists and Coach Steve's Green Slurry.

Quick, Easy and Healthy - Grazing is Great!

provided by Boise State's Hilary Horton-Brown, RD, CSSD, LD, CPT

Great Foods for Grazing

The following food combinations provide the perfect blend of carbohydrate and protein for mini meals for athletes. These foods are great for recovery snacks too. Sports Dietitians recommend eating 6-8 small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism at it’s highest. Get organized and keep these grazing foods nearby and eat to match your personal body composition goals, doubling the amounts of food if needed.


  • string cheese with a piece of fruit
  • string cheese with whole grain crackers
  • yogurt with a piece of fruit
  • yogurt with whole grain toast
  • cottage cheese with fruit or crackers
  • glass of milk
  • lean meat sandwich or wrap
  • tuna fish sandwich
  • tuna and crackers
  • peanut butter on crackers
  • peanut butter on apple or pear
  • nuts/seeds with a piece of fruit or baby carrots
  • nuts/seeds with dry cereal as a trail mix
  • PowerBar with glass of milk
  • bagel with peanut butter
  • leftovers!
  • hummus with crackers or baby carrots
  • quesadilla
  • salad with beans (black bean, garbanzo, etc…)
  • salad with cheese, sunflower seeds, or other nuts
  • slice of pizza
  • can of broth based soup such as chicken noodle
  • peppers stuffed with rice
  • burrito with salsa
  • favorite frozen/fresh veggie with cheese melted on top
  • baked potato topped with cheese or chili
  • granola with nuts
  • chicken/other meat on tortilla with salsa
  • dried fruit and nuts
  • rice or pasta with meat/cheese
  • bowl of cereal with milk
  • pretzels with cheese slice
  • canned pineapple/fruit and yogurt blended into smoothie
  • baked tortilla chips, cheese and salsa to make nachos
  • banana with nut based trail mix

Gluten-Free Sources of Fuel for Runners

Eating gluten-free food is essential for runners with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. These conditions may  cause stomach cramping, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and nutrient malabsorption. Removing gluten prevents symptoms but what about the need to consume other foods for performance energy? Runners who are gluten intolerant can find other foods to provide the fuel and nutrition for training performance.

Here are 14 gluten-free tips for runners and walkers

provided by Boise State's Hilary Horton-Brown, RD, CSSD, LD, CPT.

1. Add cooked buckwheat, oat groats, steel-cut oats, quinoa, sorghum or wild rice to rice pilaf mix.

2. Enrich soups with cooked brown rice, buckwheat, oat groats, quinoa, sorghum or wild rice.

3. Boost the nutritional content of brownies, cakes and cookies with one-fourth cup cooked amaranth or teff.

4. Sprinkle cooked gluten-free whole grains over mixed green salads.

5. Toss cooked gluten-free whole grains with gluten-free pasta made with quinoa or rice bran.

6. Cook whole grains in a slow-cooker overnight for a hearty breakfast cereal.

7. Dress cold, cooked whole grains with pesto or a salad dressing to make tabouleh.

8. Blend cooked oat groats or brown rice with black beans or pinto beans to create Southwestern dishes.

9. Extend hamburger patties or meat loaf with gluten-free rolled oats or cooked brown rice, quinoa, amaranth or teff.

10. Add cooked amaranth, quinoa or teff to puddings for an interesting texture.

11. Use quinoa flakes, gluten-free rolled oats or gluten-free, whole grain cold cereals and granolas to top fruit crisps.

12. Choose whole grain, gluten-free crackers.

13. Choose whole grain, gluten-free baking flours such as amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, or


14. Enjoy popcorn as a nutritious snack.

Half Marathon Performance Nutrition

Certified Specialist Sports Dietetics CSSDA special sports nutrition clinic presented by Boise State's Hilary Horton-Brown, RD, CSSD, LD, CPT.

Saturday May 4 @ Shoreline Park 7:30am

What should you eat and drink the days leading up to your half marathon, as well as during the race, and afterwards for improved post-race recovery?

  • what not to eat 24 hours before my half marathon
  • what should my race-day breakfast consist of?
  • how many calories and how much H2O should I consume over my 2.5 hour race?
  • 30 minute post-race guidelines: carbs, proteins and fats.

    Read more: Half Marathon Performance Nutrition

Sports Nutrition Tips

by Nancy Clark, MS, RD (

Without a doubt, what you eat and when you eat affects your athletic performance. A wisely selected sports diet can help you be stronger, train harder, and compete better. In this article we'll address nutrition as fuel, nutrition for quick energy, importance of fluids, along with pre-workout, pre-competition and recovery nutrition. Use the following sports nutrition tips to help you eat to optimize your performance.

Read more: Sports Nutrition Tips

Sports Nutrition Articles by Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD

Nutrition first… the most important part of your total health and wellness.

Fuel your new lifestyle and workouts with healthy foods that will help you lose weight while training for your target health and wellness goals. Healthy eating can be practical and tasty too! Fuel your training program with food you enjoy with expert nutrition consultation by a Registered Dietician.

Pre-Competition Meal

To discover what works best for your pre-competition foods, learn through trial and error what foods and fluids work best for your body. And, don't wait to the last week before your event. Start today when miles are low and you have plenty of time to experiment. article PDF

Recovery After Hard Exercise

To improve recovery after strenuous exercise, you should refuel your muscles with carbohydrate-rich foods as soon as you can tolerate eating. Within the first 30 minutes or so, consume a couple hundred calories with good quality carbohydrate and protein, and skip the fat.  article PDF

Sports Nutrition Tips

When you eat, and what you eat greatly affects your athletic performance. A wisely chosen sports diet will help you be stronger, train more effectively, and compete better.  article PDF

How to Lose Weight and Maintain Energy

Do you have excess body fat you want to lose? You should understand that diets don't work! Focus on a plan for eating to lose weight healthfully and successfully and keep the fat off.  article PDF

Weight loss and exercise

Build endurance while you lose weight in a training program that is reasonable and rewarding. Get results that you will use to change your life.  The key to better health and wellness is exercise. Fitness plans are tailored to your health and wellness goals and can include walking, jogging, swimming, hiking, cycling, at-home exercise routines and gym weights too. You decide what appeals to you, and work with your coaches to develop your plan.

Custom nutrition and personal training

Create a nutrition plan custom to the foods you enjoy, and then have fun doing activities for exercise that make good sense for your health and wellness goals.

Certified Personal Trainer

Whether your goal is weight loss, endurance, increased muscle mass or general health and wellness, a Certified Personal Trainer is qualified and very easy to work with.

Change your life!

Complete, comprehensive and achievable nutrition and exercise programs tailored to your health and wellness goals.


Contact Boise RunWalk today!

(208) 639-0205     email Boise RunWalk