Nutritional is a minefield, everyone has an opinion on it. I’m not a nutritionist but I’ve listened loads of opinions and taken away the bits that makes sense for me.
The best drink to have before, during and after running is water. My favourite type of water is ‘fridge water’. Keep a large jug of tap water in the fridge. It tastes fantastic. You don’t need sugary sports drinks at any point. If you need to refuel your body after a run don’t reach for a lucozade, have a proper nutritious meal or fresh smoothie made with real food.
Some runners use those fancy running gels, they do work for some runners but I’m not a massive fan. The only bits of advice I would give regards to using gels etc. Is only use them for your longer distance races. Give them a try on a training run first, make sure them agree with your stomach before using them during a race. Once you’ve found a brand of gels that you’re happy with, don’t regularly use the gels or other supplements on training runs, just train on water. On a training runs, you are training your body, if you’re running along taking a supplement every few miles after a while you’ll develop a crutch.
Food is a huge topic. You can read hundreds of pages about nutrition from people more informed than me. But here’s two things I’ve been told that have just clicked with me.
Straight after a training run your body is at it’s most open to taking in all the goodness from food. So if you can have a super healthy nutritious meal within 30 minutes of running your body will suck more of the nutrients from that food than it will if you have that same meal 2 hours later.
The other thing is carbs are a fuel. Petrol for the car. You need enough carbs in your system to do your run, but you don’t need them after your run. You don’t fill the car after getting somewhere. There’s good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates, you can google all that, try to stick to the good ones. Carbs a good few hours before a run to fuel you and protein after to repair you.
These are sort of my rules and they work for me. They might work for you. I’m not an expert, I just pinch ideas.