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Rules to Run By: Smart Eating Habits for Runners

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Tips 4-5

4. Eat in Moderation

You've already made the wise choice to exercise, so don't counteract your progress by overeating. Though running is rigorous (a 130-pound woman burns roughly 100 calories per mile when jogging at 6 miles per hour), it does not merit overindulgence. Having dessert is okay, nutritionist Manore says, but try sharing a portion with a friend or allowing yourself a treat only every other night.

5. Healthy Hydration Habits

Runners should get in the habit of replacing any fluids lost while exercising. Start by making it a point to drink directly before and after you run. If your jogging session is a bit longer (say, beyond 45 minutes), Manore suggests you stash a water bottle in the bushes along your route or sip periodically from a CamelBak (a lightweight backpack that holds water like a canteen).

You can test your hydration level by monitoring the color of your urine: if it is pale yellow, you are doing fine, but a dark yellow-orange color means you're not drinking enough. You can also weigh yourself immediately before and after exercising. If your weight falls by several pounds, you need to drink more to replenish fluid levels.

On the flip side, long-distance runners should make sure not to overhydrate without replacing electrolytes (salts). Doing so may result in a potentially dangerous condition known as hyponatremia. Make sure to replenish with fluids that contain electrolytes, such as Gatorade.

Next:  Smart Snacks


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